Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So, I've changed the look of the blog again, cause I had some comments that it was hard to read. What do you think... is this easy to read? Should I go back to the original? Or, do you have another idea?
Since I never posted the photos I took a long time ago when the guys were working on the car, they're going on today's post. It works. I hope!

Garry had his check ride yesterday and it went really smoothly. This morning he did some flying with Ben and now I think they're putting together a box to ship the prop in. (The prop won't be shipped until next week, but they want to put the box together so everything is ready.) Tomorrow he plans to do some flying with Josh. It sounds like he's having a profitable time there, which is great.

It's Wednesday already, and I've actually gotten some sleep the past couple of nights, which is quite something when Garry's gone. The boys are doing great with school. Kevin has some kind of knee injury at the moment, so we haven't been playing badminton lately, which is usually Kevin's entertainment of choice. It means we've had more time to read together.

Kaleb built a zip line across the living room yesterday, which I never did quite understand the point of... the idea came from a book of science experiments. He also made soap for bubbles and was experimenting with how to get the biggest ones. It looked like so much fun I thought we should send some home with our helper. She texted me yesterday evening and said her kids loved the bubbles... I don't think they've ever done that before.

Last evening I was reading Psalms and was struck again by how life doesn't really change... we as people always have a choice to turn to God and there are always good things and bad things about life. We all make some good choices and some bad choices. God is worthy of all honor and praise.

For anyone who's interested, I went shopping this morning and survived! I'm hoping to attack my inbox and possibly even empty it today, but it's already 5 pm, so I may not make it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Garry is in Palawan, so I'm up later than I should be. No, it isn't late yet... but it's getting there, and I haven't even sent the boys to bed yet. And after they go to bed I likely need a cup of coffee and a good book. And maybe some computer time. Just kidding!

Tomorrow morning (Tuesday here, Monday evening on the other side of the world) Garry has a check ride scheduled. This is one of the requirements for his annual pilot license renewal. He's also looking forward to doing some flying with the guys while he's in Palawan this week.

On Saturday Kaleb was out with Garry and came home saying he'd been stung by a bee. We put some baking soda on the sting and I didn't think much more about it-- but Sunday morning his finger was very swollen. I was going to tell you that we had to take this picture before we tried to get the swelling down, but....

Someone asked me about garbage and shopping here. Well, I asked my neighbor the other day if her garbage had been collected, because mine was left. She said hers had been taken but mine probably wasn't because it was in a black bag and tied shut. Yes, clear bags and/or leave them open! What especially made me laugh is that you can't even buy clear garbage bags here! The following day I was talking to some friends and they were planning to go talk to the subdivision management to find out how we can all get our garbage taken away.

Changing the subject, here are some lovely bell peppers I found at the open market last week. On the right are my amazing find, close-to-North-American sized peppers, and on the right are the peppers we usually get. The taste is similar, but it takes a LOT of the smaller ones to do something like fajitas!

Grocery shopping here takes time, not primarily because of long lines, but because you have to go several different places. My routine includes the following: open market for fresh veggies, fruit stand for fruit except bananas which we buy from a lady on the other side of town, wet market for chicken and bacon, meat shop for beef and pork, egg stand for eggs, seafood place for tuna, Armand's for any grocery items I can get there, Guisanos for anything that is absolutely not available anywhere else (which doesn't mean I could get the other items there if I wanted to), Highland for fresh milk (it only lasts a max of 5 days), water station for filtered water... and these are just the things that we need most every week! Most other things are also bought at specific stores-- be it phone load, dog food, stationery items, or medicine it's virtually impossible to find different kinds of items in the same store.

Guisanos LOOKS like a rather modern department store, but it doesn't work quite like one... you have to pay for items from each department separately, and they almost never have change in the cash register, so if you don't bring proper change you can wait up to 20 minutes for you change! Other than that, everything in town is small specialty shops. Which maybe explains why I really enjoy shopping in the city that's a couple of hours away but has more traditional grocery stores.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I had a lovely day-- Garry took me for lunch! He had to go to the hangar so dropped me off at a coffee shop for a couple of hours then came and picked me up for lunch. I took my computer with me and got some things done. I also enjoyed the quiet and the coffee!

Meanwhile, the boys did a great job with the school and completed everything they could by themselves! Plus, Brian and Bailey invited us for supper... 3 cheers for a whole day with no cooking!

This evening is our team meeting. We get together to pray and share from the Word, and it's always a good time.

I was going to post the most common reasons why your garbage doesn't get collected if you live in town. And maybe list the number of places one has to go shopping to get the basics of life, which doesn't even include chocolate or coffee! I also considered posting about what it's like to drive in town, but I decided to leave good enough alone.

So, have a good day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

So, here's the low-down on Asia's longest dual zip line... It's awesome! We've never done a zip line before, and actually weren't totally sure that we wanted to try it. But, once we got there it looked like tons of fun! Luke and his family had invited us to go with them as a treat for Luke's birthday.
The whole park where the zip line is located is just beautiful. It's a bit in the mountains so it's cool, and everything is
beautifully manicured and well-planned. The first thing, obviously, was to determine if it would be a safe thing to do. The safety precautions were pretty impressive, actually. Then we figured out that we could do all 3 zip lines for about the same cost as doing the longest one... so, Garry and Kevin decided on that option. I decided to just do the shorter line.

The longest line is 840 m and the other two are 150 m and 320 m. First we went on the shorter lines, which you do in a sort of sitting position. You go over a really pretty area and it was neat. The funny thing is that we all ended up going quite a bit of the way facing backwards.

At the bottom of the shorter zip lines was a cool little playground for younger kids and rope course for older kids. We hadn't purchased the rope course, but the kids still wanted to play on the playground for a little while. Soon after we'd all done the short zip lines it started to rain. So we took a break under the roof and waited for the rain to clear. We had just decided to go eat lunch when they said they were resuming operations as it was barely drizzling.

I didn't go on the longest line, so I stayed where we had been with a couple of the kids while Garry and Kevin were loaded on a truck to head up the hill. The ride up was crazy... they said they didn't think the truck would make it at one point!

Once at the top they were harnessed in to a thing that kept them sort of laying down facing forward so they could enjoy the ride on the way down. Kevin said it looked pretty crazy from the top, but it was actually just fun.

After everyone had their turn on the zip line we went for lunch, which was a adventure all its own. We had seen a little restaurant that was named Cowboy something which was really cute. We took the menu from the waitress and asked what they didn't have on hand... only salisbury steak wasn't available. So we chose chicken, pork steak, and hamburgers. About 10 minutes later they told us there wasn't chicken. So we decided maybe the simplest thing would be to just get hamburgers all around. "No problem, ma'am!"

It wasn't 5 minutes before they were back with the information that hamburgers were limited. Ok. We finally ordered the rest of the hamburgers they had on hand and the remainder of it as pork steaks. The restaurant had several little gazebos and we chose one of these to have our lunch in. By the time our food arrived it was pouring rain and we actually got cold.

Yes, it was a great day, a great experience!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I would post about our lovely adventures at the longest dual zip line in Asia, but I haven't downloaded my pictures yet. So....

This week is just beginning, and I love it. I love new beginnings. A clean slate for school. A clean room. An empty screen to fill. A new checklist that is starting out all even-- nothing to catch up on. A new menu with no corrections yet. A new letter to write! I think that this is what God offers us every moment-- a new start. A new beginning to follow Him, love Him, seek Him. And when we choose to do so, He is honored.

This computer is no longer new, but it keeps doing new things. The latest is "losing" my photos somehow. I see them when I open iPhoto, but when I go to post them, only photos from several weeks ago show up. If you know how to remedy this, please tell me! (Yeah, this is an old photo.)

Garry and the other pilots have decided to change the prop in the remote location and then fly the airplane to our home base for the engine change. Now he is working on timing and getting everything in order to make it happen.

Last evening we had supper at the guesthome. The ladies there prepared pizza and many of us shared the time together. It was good to catch up with people, good to chat and hear what is going on in others' lives.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy Tuesday! I'm at a nice little coffee shop trying to catch up with myself.... or maybe it's my list of things to do I'm trying to catch up with!

At any rate, I'm here. Kevin and Kaleb took some fun photos of transportation methods last time we were in Cagayan.... I'll have to post them little by little so you can enjoy the journey with us! So, in typical missionary manner, here is a photo I don't know if you can see: there are both cows and pigs int he back of this truck. And people sitting on the top. Way to go!

Garry is getting things organized, if time on the phone is any indication. It truly is amazing how many hours he has to spend on the phone every day. And when he's not on the phone, we enjoy our drives and walks!

Kevin has been busy writing lately. If you're interested in checking out his thoughts, follow the link for lifemk on the right side of this page. From his blog you can also follow a link to his recent poems and stories.

Kaleb has made himself a puppet and is working on his second. He was planning a puppet show, but he says he can't quite figure out a good plot, so the idea is on hold. In the meantime he's making flying models of airplanes out of balsa wood and crepe paper.

So, those are my lame thoughts today... pretty basic and boring....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Isn't the rainbow a beautiful reminder of God's promises to us? A friend took this the other day while flying through some rather stormy weather. He shared it with us soon after Garry's incident and it blessed us also. Life continues to stay interesting and challenging, and God continues to remind us of His love and care.

This week looks like it will be another of gathering information and making decisions for Garry. He needs to do a check ride to renew his pilot's license before the end of the month. The annual on the airplane that is down is due in mid-October which presents some things to work through as we make plans for repair. Josh needs to get a temporary license before we start his checkout, but not too long before. Garry is also working on some stuff to get the hangar here in Mindanao better organized. The motorcycle is due to be registered, but it isn't working so well at the moment. And, we think the car parts we need to "stop the clunking" should be headed our way this week.

Yesterday we watched a short video by Louie Giglio where he talks about how great God is. He talks about the immensity of the universe and the complexity of our human bodies. It was amazing to watch!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Happy Tuesday! It's on to school here at our house... Kevin has a pretty heavy load this year, so he'll be spending lots of hours in his office. Kaleb doesn't have as much to do each day, but school is getting harder as the years pass by. I can hardly believe Kevin is in grade 10 and Kaleb is in grade 6 already!

Garry's in town at the moment, sending some papers to Manila. His pilot medical had to be renewed last month and his license this month. He needs a checkride to renew his license, so he's planning a quick trip to Palawan for that. He'll also do some flying with Josh, our new pilot there.

The car started making some funny clunking noises the other day, and they apparently mean that we need to change some parts in it. Garry's hoping Brian can find the parts while he's in the city today. Otherwise we'll have to get them from Manila.

Well, school is calling!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The helicopter for Northern Luzon has been loaded in a container and is scheduled to leave the U.S. port September 8th! We are so excited that God has provided for this and will continue to provide for the expenses of getting it operational here in the Philippines!
In the same container are the prop and engine we need to get our C185 back in the air again. We will all be happy to see that container arrive and be released from customs!

Since my last blog the "comedy of errors" has continued... when the boys names were eventually added to the tournament list Kaleb's was in the wrong category, there weren't enough shirts for everyone in the tournament, Kevin only got 1 game instead of 3 in his category, I lost my cell phone, my helper locked herself out of the house so she couldn't clean before we got home and the vegetables for the week were out of the fridge for the weekend....

Yes, it feels a bit chaotic. But we got started back to school this week and the boys are both doing an excellent job. Garry is getting things arranged for when the parts arrive as well as thinking through a lot of things in relation to the flight program. And just yesterday we put out our garbage and they actually collected it this week!

We got an e-mail from some friends this week that talked about the airplane being down right now and how it feels like an inconvenience, but it is something God is using for GOOD. Because the airplane is down they drove to a nearby town on their motorcycle where some tribal friends were in the hospital, praying that someone would come help them. Wow, God! If the airplane had been available they would have flown and missed this opportunity to minister to this family who is learning so much about God and His love.