Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday afternoon. The guy is outside cutting the grass-- here it's always cut with a weed whacker, even large areas of grass. Not sure why, it's just the way it is... either a weed whacker or a pair of scissors! Garry is working on some office projects and I'm headed back to school to finish up math with Kevin. Kaleb is contemplating making a movie, though he isn't sure what his storyline should be yet.

Kevin played badminton with his friends this afternoon and came home a bit frustrated. He is paying the expenses of their play-- court & shuttles. But one of his friends keeps trying to get more. He needs a racquet. He needs a new shuttle cause this one is bad. On and on. It's frustrating to give and find it's never enough. I guess it's human nature... and I know that any of us can feel the same way. Love. Reaching out. Giving. And yet not being owned by those around us. It's a pretty thin line to walk as a 16-year-old!

Such is our afternoon today. And now I'm on to Algebra II!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's an overcast Saturday afternoon, the kind of day you'd like to snuggle up by the fire and drink hot chocolate and roast some marshmallows. In fact, we've had a lot of days like that lately. Yesterday I posted on my Facebook that I was tired of wet stinky clothes and towels and was ready to be rid of the perpetual mud by the outside door. Guess what? We had sunshine this morning and most of the clothes actually dried! (No, I didn't smell them. I simply folded them and put them in the cupboard cause I'm definitely not washing them again until we have more than a sunny morning!)

Joel & Missy arrived in Mindanao almost two weeks ago and already have a house! They are painting and preparing to move in these days. We are so excited to have new partners! They are another neat, fun family to have around. We love chatting with them and hearing all the things God has done to bring them here.... we first met Joel & Missy about 9 years ago when they were in training at Moody Aviation and Garry was doing some travel for NTM aviation. Pretty cool that we're now working together!

I've been thinking about distractions and the value of living simply lately. It is so easy to complicate our lives with too many things, too many expectations, too many relationships, too many projects.... too much of anything and everything! And as I've contemplated this I've realized that some things we can simplify and some things we can't.

Grocery shopping, for instance, is quite complicated here. My normal grocery shopping includes the outdoor market, two meat stores (one has pork and the other has beef and chicken), the egg seller, the milk outlet, the fruit stand, and the bigger grocery store. And no, this isn't a round-robin to save money or find the "best" of everything-- only eggs can be bought at another store, but my average buying them elsewhere is almost half of them being rotten. So, I make my rounds. And it costs me something in time, money, and mental energy. Not to mention that shopping is a relational experience here-- you don't simply go in and pull things off the shelves and check out. You either interact or be rude to the vendors. So, since I live here by God's call, this complexity is also God's call, at least for the moment until He gives me insight into a simpler way to feed our family!

On the other hand, I cleaned out my closet this morning because it was too full. It feels great to have it organized and actually have some extra space in there! Next week I'm going to attack my kitchen, which I think is pretty minimalistic, but I want to somehow clear out a little also.

What do you do to live simply? E-mail me or post a comment-- I'd love to hear your simple ideas!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Yes, we got all our stuff the other day. I was pretty excited. And the smell of dead fish was very overwhelming when we got in the car! It seems like our stuff was packed in a container with fish! So, we have our back porch full off things lying around to try to air out. Fish is a pretty strong smell... though this morning I was able to use a couple of books that were in the shipment. Hopefully, everything is usable again!

We're having a great time with Paul, our aviation area coordinator. It's fun to catch up with him and hear about our friends in Arizona. The guys are enjoying talking through program stuff and flying together. The kids are enjoying hearing the amazing stories Paul always tells about God's faithfulness. It is just GOOD!

check out Kevin's thoughts... below Kaleb's photo:).

Oh, and by the way, kids can survive without breakfast, though I don't recommend it on a daily basis!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

On general principles, I don't like seeing either of my boys hanging far above the ground. I don't like heights, I don't like injuries, and I HATE the sight of blood. So, since I had to watch Kaleb swing around on this rope for so many hours in Palawan I thought I'd share the experience with you! (I know, it isn't really that scary!)

Hanging. Even apart from ropes and trees, it reminds me that there are times in our lives when we feel like we're hanging, as a sentence is left hanging. Events and experiences are unfinished. The meaning of the story has not yet come clear. God's plans have not yet been revealed. Yet we know that His ultimate purposes are good, just as He is good. We know God deserves honor and glory, which are both on the very short list of things we can give Him. In fact, until we meet Him face to face our story will be unfinished, the meaning unclear. I guess that's why it's called a walk of faith!

Garry arrives home today! And, our boxes arrived from Palawan! I came to the city to pick Garry up, and a good friend came with me. We had a lovely chat on the way here and then enjoyed lunch together. Now I'm just waiting for Garry, whose plane was delayed almost an hour. He should still get in today, though!

I've talked to Kevin and Kaleb several times today. Besides the fact that I left them no breakfast (as in, no milk, bread, or cereal) they had a rather interesting start to their day. But it sounds like they've had fun taking Kody on a run while they rode bicycles as well as doing most of their school.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I have been incredibly remiss in posting, which most of you don't need me to tell you. It's the truth, all the same!

We had a lovely time in Cebu, simply being together and relaxing. It was a great time to "change gears" from Palawan back to Mindanao. Blessed. I can't think of another word for that time.

Arriving home was challenging, as it often is if you've been gone a while. The house was wonderfully clean, which was a huge blessing. Still, it felt empty and like it hadn't been lived in for a while. I have a new helper (she worked just 2 days before we left for Palawan) which always brings some adjustments. We felt we needed to get back to school quickly because of our planned trip back to Canada later this summer. Plus, there were simply a lot of things that we hadn't done while we were gone, and now they were all trying to catch our attention.

Now life is feeling a bit more settled, though Garry left yesterday which makes it feel a bit strange. The boys and I are getting back into a strong school routine. I've caught up with my friends here, which is half of being settled if you're me.

The tires on the motorcycle needed replacing, and Kevin jumped into the job yesterday. It was a larger project than he had anticipated, in huge part because he only had short screwdrivers to work with, no proper tools for changing a tire! Kaleb has been building with his Lego Technics and enjoying lots of time on his bike. The boys have also been leash training Kody (our dog) a bit... and she is enjoying getting out of the yard more often because of it!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

I thought you might enjoy this clip of Kaleb's bottle rocket with a parachute...

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Good morning from beautiful Cebu... we are here for a couple days break before heading home. What a blessing!

We are finished with Josh & Candy's checkout! When we went to Palawan we could not have imagined all that God would accomplish in two months. We are humbled and encouraged by all that God did. Josh and Candy got a thorough checkout, from our perspective. The guys did a lot of flying together and Josh did a lot of operational flights by himself. Garry and Josh did a big maintenance project together, which allowed them a lot of time to discuss maintence things while working. The four of us spent a lot of time discussing the flight program. Candy and I enjoyed coffee, chatting, and bookkeeping together (okay, so maybe the bookkeeping wasn't quite as much fun as coffee and chatting). The kids played cars, built forts, and worked on Lego projects.

Our time in Palawan was such a blessing, in part because we went into this "long-term visit" with lots of apprehension. After all, it isn't easy to relocate for 10 weeks, particularly when you are taking your work with you or working in a new location. But God blessed us with so many good times, good friends, and good memories. Because Puerto is a tourist town we also felt like we could blend in much more than in Mindanao, which was a particular blessing for Kevin who really stands out at home because of his height.

Now we are in Cebu for a couple days break on our way home. So far, it's been wonderful! And we are very much looking forward to getting home and settled back into the normal chaos of our routine. We can't wait to see our friends at home and catch up. Plus, we're getting new partners soon-- adding them to our team, we're not losing our partners!