Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall break! I love school break... time to clean up spaces that have accumlated clutter, time to bake, time to update school records and plan the next quarter. It's always busy, but a bit of a different busy than school time!

This is us on our way back home from Manila last time... early morning breakfast at Yellow Cab at the airport. It was tasty... but a bit early to be eating Yellow Cab food.

Garry did a bit of flying this week and also spent some time at the hangar. The guys had a large cupboard in town that needed to go to the hangar, so Garry borrowed Brian's truck and took it out on Tuesday. The thing was monstrous-- should have taken a photo of that!

Yesterday we got a badminton trainer from the city to come down and give the older boys good games for a few hours. Kevin and his friends had an amazing time with him-- they had great games and got VERY tired playing!

Kaleb has been working on various projects over break and is now building another balsa wood airplane. I think this one he's going to make his own wooden propeller for... I'm interested to see how it flies when he's done!

Today is another cooking day for me. I know, I just put a bunch of stuff in the freezer last week, but you can't believe how much of it is already gone! Today I'm making some beef dishes to freeze and also baking some sweet breads. Funny thing about cooking days is how hard it is to get a whole meal on the table in the middle of all the prep work:).

Friday, October 28, 2011

Good morning! I've decided this blog is getting downright boring... which is rather funny, cause our lives are anything but boring. Still, there are so many things going on that affect our co-workers or are unanswered questions that I can't really post, that life sounds boring from my recent blogging.

As I pondered what might interest you, I came up rather blank. Still, I think if you came to visit for a few days or weeks you would find our lives to be somewhat interesting. But which part? That the owner of one of our tribal airstrips recently planted a third of it with coconut trees, making a long airstrip very short?

That our missionaries at one location are facing a near-epidemic of resistant tuberculosis and trying to deal with it? That our friends are working on surveys of many areas of Mindanao and finding out a lot about the local churches, both positive passion and lack of teaching among other things. That one of the tribal groups is spending two days this week taking the undulation out of their airstrip by moving dirt, topping it with gravel, and trying to pack it by hand? That Juliet's husband just lost his job because the company is waiting for supplies and they won't pay him to wait, but he needs to be available when the supplies arrive? That the aviation requirements in this country change so often that it's useless to try to do anything without first going into the office and asking how to do it this time?

So, those are things I consider posting about. But I'm just not quite sure which direction to go at the moment, so maybe I'll close my computer for the day and trust you have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday afternoon... we had a lovely farewell party for Pruetts today. We're sad to see them leave for furlough, but excited for them that they will have the coming months in the US with family and friends!

Tomorrow Garry and I are planning to head to the city to see the chiropractor and do some shopping. The hours in the car are always a nice time to talk! The boys are just about finished with school for the week, which means they are almost to their school break!

The other day I did do my cooking, so we now have some nearly-ready food in the freezer. It's a rather good feeling, particularly with all the food our boys can eat in one day!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tuesday morning and I am enjoying a good coffee... admittedly not as beautiful as this one that I had at a nice hotel in Manila a while ago! But still, there's a certain nice feeling that that first cup of coffee.

Garry got up at 3:30 this morning to head to the hangar for a full day of flying with Brian and Josh. They're headed to one of our locations where the winds tend to pick up later in the morning, so they wanted to get an early start. Garry is doing all his flying from the right seat these days because of the checkout he's currently working on.
This is our last week of school before fall break, which we are all ready for. It seems we're all a bit tired and ready for a break. Several of Kevin's courses haven't turned out to be quite what we had anticipated, so we'll be thinking through some of that over our break. Kaleb's school is going really well. Kaleb continues to do a lot of animation, which is giving him great opportunities for writing, art, and storytelling.

When school is finished today I hope to do some food prep. With very little prepared food available here, I like to prep ahead-- cook some meat for quick meals, freeze chopped onions, freeze cookies and cookie dough, and bake extra muffins and breads to try to keep up with the constant demand for food at our house. I asked Juliet's daughter to come help today, so that should be a new, fun experience. She's excited for the work as she needs a costume for a Christmas program she's performing in.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Good morning! It's been a VERY long time since Monday... unusually long seeming, anyway! Garry went flying a couple of days... one day they just sat for a long while and waited for the wind to die down, which it never did. They'll try again next Tuesday, I think. The other flight they were able to get some practice in. We were very happy to get an internet technician into both locations, so our missionaries now have internet access again!

Various things have come up this week, decisions that need to be made and situations that need addressed. What is the right thing to do? What is God doing in these situations? Our desire is to honor God in every area of life, in every relationship, in every decision. Sometimes His way takes a while to become clear to us.

Juliet is such a blessing to our family with her ready smile and willingness to do so many things. Her daughter came down with another ear infection yesterday, now in both her ears. I guess the antibiotics weren't strong enough or weren't the right kind... or maybe something else is the matter. Pray with us for healing for this girl.

Scout continues to be a healthy eater and grows almost every day. He's a fun, smart little puppy.

Kevin continues to battle a tummy flu, but he seems a bit better than he was last weekend. He was gifted some huge improvements for the motorcycle plus instruction in how to install them this week. What a blessing it has been to him-- and us!

Kaleb has been studying some more animation techniques and trying them out. He's also mastering some trials biking techniques, like horse jumping.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

We went to Dahilarayan on Friday and spent some fun hours there. It's the home of Asia's Longest Dual Zipline (which we didn't do this time) and they have a lot of cool stuff to do at reasonable prices. Plus, it's a large, beautiful place to just walk around.

On the way home the view was just breathtaking! It's amazing how each place has a beauty of its own. Here in Northern Mindanao the land is a series of large plateaus and deep ravines. Amazing to look at... not always fun to drive around!

Garry's back at the airport doing some more flying this morning. Kevin went to bed with a nasty stomach ache, headache, and sore back, so I thought I'd let him sleep in a bit this morning. Soon the house will be abuzz with school, laundry, and cooking.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It's a rainy Saturday afternoon. I love the coolness. I am quite tired of the mud and dirty floors! However, the rain seems to quiet things down a bit, which is nice. I can't hear the traffic on the street or the dogs yapping or the roosters crowing. In fact, all I hear is the steady beat of the rain on our roof.

Garry's flying, getting ready to do some checkout flying with Joel, which is always an exciting, busy, and somewhat stressful thing to do. Next week he'll be heading into our various airstrips and getting current again on them, so today was an opportunity to get current in the airplane after a long while behind the desk. (He finally mailed the stacks of annual paperwork on Wednesday after several days of long hours at his computer.)

Thursday evening Juliet texted to say her daughter had a very sore ear. They took her to the doctor and got the medicine she needed. All considered, the trip to the specialist and the medication she needed were quite inexpensive in comparison to North America. However, for her they cost a week's wages. It's sobering.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday afternoon.... and a great start to our week! Some friends invited us to a birthday party at a pool about an hour from here, so we headed out there for lunch. We did some visiting and some swimming, and now it's back to normal life. The boys got most of their school finished early, so hopefully we won't be paying for our fun for too long!

Juliet asked me this morning if I had medicine for little kids... her older grandson has stomach issues now. I sent her home over lunch to buy some meds and some Gatorade for him. Poor little guy. And I just feel for the family.

Garry's one stack of papers is almost ready to put in the mail, and the other one is getting close. I think he's be incredibly relieved when it's finished for good... or at least for these two airplanes this year!

The other day we took our camera to the badminton court and it got pushed off a chair by a little girl. I think it's ruined, so we'll see how many photos we have for the next while. Our last camera gave up the ghost last summer and we just got a new one while we were home. Stink!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I think I have the "fall bug"... since I've never really lived for any length of time where there are four seasons in a year, I must have caught it from my friends and co-workers! All the same, this week I had an irresistible urge to eat pumpkin pie. I bought a squash last week, which was designated for making "pumpkin bread" but got turned into pie instead. I don't think anyone in my family minded... pie of any kind is always a big hit at our house.

Kevin's enjoying riding motorcycle whenever he gets a chance. Someone gifted him a pair of boots, which has made riding even more fun (and safer, by my standard!). He rides with some amazing guys who have experience in different kinds of riding, enduro and trail riding. As missionaries it is sometimes tempting to believe there are "great opportunities" our kids are missing out on. But God so often does amazing things, giving our kids amazing opportunities we couldn't have orchestrated if we would have tried!

Garry's desk is a jumble of papers as he finishes the paperwork for annuals on two of our aircraft. It's incredible the stack of papers you have to turn in for every aircraft every year! Kevin and Kaleb have pretty much cleared their desks off, a sign they've finished their school work for the week. Yippee! Weekends are wonderful, aren't they?!

Juliet, my helper, has been on my mind this week. She is a constant reminder how hard life is for so many people. Her son-in-law has recently been threatening his wife with a knife while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Her grandbaby has been sick with a fever, and it's all the family can do to buy medicine. Her father is ailing and is at home where he has been waking up unable to breathe: doctors say there's nothing they can do, so it's watching him suffer. Her husband works on a plantation, and he leaves for work at 4 am. Juliet gets up at 2:30 to cook her hubby breakfast and a lunch to take to work. She gets an hour or so of sleep before getting up to start the day with her daughters who are still in school, then coming to work for me. She's asking for extra hours to make a little extra. Yet she speaks highly of her church and the ways her girls minister to others. She loves God and seeks to do what is right. She works hard and doesn't complain (these are things she's just mentioned in passing). In fact, she seems to accept her life with its complexity and hard work much better than I do some days. She challenges me, and that's a good thing.

Monday, October 03, 2011

I want to welcome Scout, our new puppy, to the family! He's a beautiful, happy little guy. Although I must say that he can whine really loudly when he wants attention or food. "He's a voracious eater," the man told us when we bought him. No kidding!

Our morning started out well, and now I'm off to school. Just got this photo and wanted to share it with you!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Garry downloaded his photos yesterday and I was shocked to see all the dirty water that is running through parts of Manila. This was 2 days after the typhoon hit, when the water had already receded a fair amount. Pray for the people of Manila, particularly the very poor who are the most affected by these kinds of things.

Kaleb has been working hard to ride over this table top, or whatever you call it... I think it's quite impressive that he's got it nearly mastered! His other interest is free running. He'd love some tips or links on free running if you know of a good way to get started!

Monday is promising us a busy week as we look ahead. This morning Garry has been working on annual paperwork for two of our aircraft. The work on the helicopter itself was completed last week, and they want to turn in the paperwork this week. The guys will start work on the annual on the airplane here next week, if all goes as planned.

Mexican night with Joel & Missy and Brian & Bailey was a big hit! The ladies who joined our team here are great cooks, and we had a tasty dinner and fun evening together.