Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Where did the last 6 months go??

Okay, so I finally realized that no one was going to write here if I didn't do it. No kidding, I know, I know, facebook status updates is not the best way to keep track of your life. I really do like keeping this blog cause it is a way for me to remember all that has gone on over the years. And of course a great way for you to share in my crazy thoughts and bizarre life pattern.

It is weird to come here and think " I am not a missionary anymore". Course I know that isn't true, that we are all missionaries, but that our career as missionaries has stopped for now at least. I will miss it so much, though I must say that this past week as I taught at the local school, subbing in many different grades, that no matter where I go or what we do, as long as I can have a part in kids lives, I am feel like I am doing what I should be doing.

My married life, too has changed drastically. First we moved off the school base, also known as the fish bowl. Since then I have felt like I can enjoy my personal time with Scott more, that I don't have to feel like people are just around the corner. I can talk and not worry that someone will show up at the door at any minute. I can cry, yell, laugh or whatever and not have to wonder if someone hears me. It is quite freeing.

My married life has also changed as Scott recovers from his accident. I have had to carry more responsibilities, be the one to jump up and give a helping hand, juice, heating pad, ice, put socks on, or fix his hair. It is a change, yet it is good, I am realizing how much Scott does each day to make me feel special, how he cares and worries about everyone. He is getting better each day and really is close to normal, as the pain in one place subsides he notices other places he is hurting, but I think it is all good, he is getting better and this is great news.

It makes me sad to think he doesn't have his bike. He dreamed of this summer through the last three years, talked of it to his kids, and had it here waiting for him when we arrived. It was his get away from life, yet it was also so handy, our second vehicle. Boy could we use one of those right now. Now what is he going to do??? We kayak and we walk, but he so loved that bike. If he had any memory at all of the accident it might make it easier to think of riding again, but right now he really isn't that excited about getting back on a bike.

The kids have adjusted well to life in the states, even with all the hard times. First with us not sure if we would go to Michigan, and they waited patiently as the decisions came together. Than it was the jobs, and as we wait to see if Scott will get a job, they have to put their little dreams on hold. We are going to the fair next week. This is a BIG deal here in Maine, and they are quite excited. There are lots of fun rides at the fair and they will have a great time. The hard part for Laney coming back in is the constant talk at the school about germs, flu, etc. She worries so much, but we are trying to help her put these concerns into perspective.

I am happy to be here, I do wish it wasn't so far away from family. I really miss them. I haven't seen any of them since I got home in May, but I did get to spend time with them in December, and we are praying we can go out west for Christmas. Especially to see my sister before she and her family head back to Africa.

I am busy with my gardens this week, now that it is raining, it is a good time to transplant. I hope i can get some more done this week, I have been working every day, so I have had to put the flowers on hold, but maybe Saturday between showers I can finish.
Well, that is about all I can think of to write right now, it is all random and crazy, but at least it is something. I hope I can write more often as life settles down here and we snuggle in for winter.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Adverbs, Short stories, and a giggling girl

So we are winding up our year. This means that short stories are due in just a week, and we have reached the end of our grammar book. In some ways it is my favorite part of the year. I love reading the stories these kids write. First, of course, they have had quite the unusual lives, so they have some neat experiences to draw from, that and the fact their brains haven't been fried by too much tv. I like the part when they hand them in (the rough drafts ) and I get to read them and help develop the plot and clean up the story line. I like writing, but I think I like the editing process better. So that has been what I have been doing lately. One girl's story is really fun, cause I have actually been to the tribe where she grew up, and made the hour trip into the woods with her and her family. I can picture the trip as she describes the biannual journey from the northern part of Brazil to here in central Brazil, it is not an easy one, let me tell you!!
Then we are winding up grammar. Last week and this week we worked on adverbs. I know I have been getting to deep into the subject when it continues all night in my dreams. Things like, Adverbs can be anywhere in a sentence, well, almost anywhere, before or after a verb, or in the middle of a verb phrase, or at the beginning of a sentence. Then we learned that adverb phrases come immediatly after the adjective or adverb it modifies, and that adverbs come immediatly before the adverbs or adjectives they modify, then there are adverb clauses that start with those lovely subordinating conjunctions, and they can come at the beginning of a sentence or after the word they modify. Are you seeing why I am having nightmares. I try to tell the kids that adverbs are simple, then get lost in the explanation. Ahhhhhh but we have held on, and managed to get through that section, now we are on to sentence structures... I won't even try to explain all the different structures there are!!! But we had fun. I realized that I love puzzles, and connecting random things, that is why I love grammar. I encourage the kids that if they don't understand it, they must at least memorize everything then they can just fill in the answers and get on to the next thing ( that was how I passed geometry).
I do love these kids, they are always ready to laugh, and we do lots, especially when we are tired of grammar and enjoy just making fun of the horrible sentences they have in the book to work with. I am going to miss this group, they are unique and normal and always ready to enjoy life.
So on top of grammar and short stories I have a little girl who is growing up. She is full of energy and sometimes I can't believe how big she is getting ( especially when I pick her up to put her on the back of my bike). She will be 5 in July!!!! I didn't notice this silly thing so much with Jonathan and Laney - they kept each other so well entertained. Emma gets bored, and she gets silly and soon you realize she is just bouncing off the walls. If I let her outside she picks every flower off my plants, sits by the fish pond and fills it full of sticks, leaves and grass, or is in the dirt road playing with mud or rocks. If that fails to entertain she finds the cats and torments them. On the brighter side, she doesn't run off to the playground or a friends house as much!!! Whenever you tell her to do ( or not do ) something she says "okay!" but then you go inside, and she is right back at it!!! So we get out her puzzles and she does all 10 of them and then is ready for something else. I have tried to keep her from watching much TV ( I am sick of Wally - after watching it just a few times, she walks around for hours playing Wally) but I think the more she gets up and moves the more she gets up and moves. I have seen her spend a half an hour or more with a piece of paper opening and closing it and laughing. But she is always happy!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The definition of trust

So yesterday was one of those days, where my patience was at it's end. I am tired of waiting to know what our future holds and was praying for a way out of this situation. I don't want to go through this trial, I want OUT!!!
I was talking to my mom and she said "you need to just trust God" and I quickly replied "Mom, I am not worried about what my future holds, I just want to know what it is!!!" She said again, you just need to trust God".
Well, I thought, I am!!
So last night was our ladies Bible study and we covered Daniel in the lions den. And I opened my Bible to Daniel chapter 6 and across the page was a devtional that said "Learning to wait on God:Trust" Amazing, Daniel was simply waiting for the morning, and deliverance. Sue Monk Kidd says " if like Daniel you are waiting in some den of helplessness, won't you spend the time as he did - trusting God?"
Trust is something I do while I am waiting??
Here are some of the definitions of trust...
Trust used as a verb -
to rely upon or place confidence in someone or something
to have confidence; hope
1. certainty, belief, faith. Trust, assurance, confidence imply a feeling of security. Trust implies instinctive unquestioning belief in and reliance upon something: to have trust in one's parents. Confidence implies conscious trust because of good reasons, definite evidence, or past experience: to have confidence in the outcome of events. UnabridgedBased on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009

Did you see that first sentence? Trust implies a feeling of security??
And it is an unquestioning belief?

So am I trusting God as I wait?? I am afraid not.

Lord teach me to trust you, to wait in the security of your presence, knowing without a doubt that even the answer when it comes is also part of you plan, not just the answer. How your timing is not my timing.

Philippians 4:6,7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

I can pray about the need for an answer, trusting Him, with confidence and hope that he will answer, thanking Him for all that He has done for me, from the beginning of my walk with him until now. The amazing security that comes from understanding that He has plans for me, plans to prosper me and to give me a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Thank you Lord!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The process of letting go

The next step is here - return to the states and interview with the leadership at our NTM Bible Schools for a job.

Our flights are booked and we leave the 28th of May. Soon after we arrive - like within days - we will drive or fly to Michigan for the job interview.

So many questions come to mind as we head this way.

1.) When would we move??

2.) How much will it cost to live in the USA, will our support be sufficient?

3.) Where will our kids go to school?

4.) What will my job be?

and so on...

But first we have to move.

This process is not like the typical moving process. We must sell almost everything. We get 10 suitcases and 5 carry ons to bring all that we treasure most - and also the necessary things ( like tax record for 7 years!!!). A few people here have offered suitcases, since most people returning to the US are just going for a month or two they don't need all that space. But still at the most I can see us having around 15 70 pounds suitcases to pack.

So we must sell, give away or throw away the rest - you know the stuff you hang on to that has not value to anyone but you - like kids school projects, cards old videos etc. Then when we return to the US and we must decide what we need to replace or what can we live without. A lot of the stuff we are selling are things we need to replace - yes, even the kids toys, hopefully we can find stuff at garage sales for good deals...

Most of our kids toys, and most of our books will stay.

Most of my kitchen stuff will stay, bedding, curtains, pillows, etc,

Of course, all furniture will stay.

What goes with? our favorite stuff, like the kids favorite toys, my decorations and pictures that give our home the same feel no matter where we live, clothes, of course my scrapbooks ( man are they heavy) and card making supplies!!! My favorite books, and smaller kitchen tools. Quilts, computers, DVD's (thank goodness those are smaller than videos) and so on. It is exhausting!!! You try to imagine what is going to fit in our few suitcases and hope for the best.

The hard part is that we are selling our stuff to friends and co-workers. People with little money, and big needs. How do you ask for a fair price. I can't ask what it will cost to replace it if I am going to buy it new - I am selling a used product, yes, a lot of these items I brought from the US, and you can't find them here, still is it fair, I don't know??

As you can see it is hard to let go.

I do think we have put good prices on the stuff, as most is already spoken for, just a few things to sell.

So please pray for us as we go through this, it isn't easy, I find myself worn out with the thinking.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The waiting place

Sometimes my life feels like that part in this book where it says sometimes you are at that waiting place. As many of you have experienced personally, waiting is not something we humans enjoy. I am also one of those crazy people who like to plan things, and like it when I can plan out my near future and get excited about what is coming next.

So here we are, ready for the next step and waiting for news on where that will be and what??? It is not easy. Scott and I find ourselves looking at each other and say things like "maybe we will hear today??" or "what if it that isn't what God wants, then what???" Along with the waiting is the need to plan for our time in the states, to schedule meetings at churches and with friends and supporters. Yet, we really should know what we are doing before we make those plans, so we wait...

Please pray for us as we wait and pray that God would make our hearts ready for this next step. That where ever we go next it will be a place we can be used by God to the best of our abilities. Pray for our support needs for this next step. As we change locations it will affect our support as often it is based on where you are working.

So while we wait, we work, each day busy with the job in front of us. Lives God is touching, kids He is preparing for a life of service. Our senior class and their exciting future. As always, no matter what stage of life we are in, we are surrounded by people to serve and minister to. So we stay engaged and stay focused - but it isn't easy!!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

That's what we are here for

I know it might not sound like much but running to the airport in Brasilia ( a 2 hour trip each way) to transport missionaries to and from airports is what Scott is doing today ( that and preparing for his message on the persecuted church for tomorrow)
The wife of the airplane mechanic kept saying thank you. Yes it had been a busy week as we helped them purchase tickets and fly the same day to Manaus. Joel had to take his passport in person to the customs department before they would release his tools. Janelle and Joel are here with New Tribes Missions to work with Missionary Aviation Fellowship and Wycliffe in a team effort to get as many missionaries into the remote areas of Brazil to reach the unreached.
We have spent the week helping with meals, and babysitting, arranging the return ticket and picking up Joel tonight at the airport. But it is with joy, that we can have a part in their lives as they prepare to serve others in a remote region of the world.
As Janelle was expressing her thanks and lamenting the bother they were being I said and was reminded myself, that this is what we are here for. And it brought such joy to be able to say it. I love the fact that by serving others we are helping in the big picture of tribal missions. That we are using our special gift of helps ( Scott and I both love to serve and he has such a servant's heart) to reach the lost.
Not all of us get to be in the tribe, some of us are at home in the US praying, teaching to prepare new missionaries, giving, some of us are in a foreign country assisting in schools, in finances, in supply buying, as pilots, and some of us are in the tribe, but we are all involved in tribal missions.
God has opened the door of Brazil in 2000 when we and one other couple worked through much discouragment and finally were able to come. Now many new missionaries are coming, it is exciting to know that through our work with spreading the word of Brazil opportunities (over 90 tribes still unreached) that people are hearing and coming to help. I am so thankful that though our part was just a small part, we have been able to be a help to these new couples coming in. To help them as they adjust to a new culture and share some of the things we have learned and help the adjust. Now these families are moving into unreached areas. One families is head up this month, and will be settling in. We can't wait to see how God will use them!!! A chance for people who have never had a chance to hear, who have asked for missionaries and are finally going to hear the Good News. Praise the Lord!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

hair cuts, smiles, cats, cards and flowers,

Here is my new cut, what do you think? It feels so good!

Okay, so I was having fun playing with my new hair cut!!
And Laney was willing to take pictures

Laney took this picture of Emma
Emma has learned to smile for pictures and we are having fun, but trying to not wear it out!!!

Summer is here and we are busy trimming trees and trying to keep up with the lawns, Uncle Buck is busy day and night with Mangos and trees and grass, Thanks for keeping our place looking so nice ( yes and the rest of you - Uncle Miles and Tim!!)
Even Jonathan is learning how to help

My favorite vine that grows all over the front of our house is covered with flowers
A new flower, I really like that yellow, so cheerful on these rainy days

A rose, hidden in the vines of the purple flower plant
This is right by our front door, and my violets seem quite happy here. I like seeing them when I come and go.

fun card projects

New Year's lunch
Beef Tenderloin, baked to 160 degrees, and so yummy!!!

Nothing better than taking a nap with your best bud
What does Tigey do when I add a special touch to Laney's room??
Make it his new favorite place to sleep.
It is dark, but he is snuggled just under this window in Laney's room

He is always doing something cute, whether sleeping or awake, what is he doing now??
drinking from the ice water our guest was soaking her feet in!!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My trip - journal entries

I finally feel awake enough to try and put into words all that Laney and I did in the US last month. It was a wirllwind trip but so fun. I still can't believe we saw as many places and people as we did, yet so many we missed. I still can't believe that with all the crazy weather out there, that we made it everywhere we planned to go.
First we went to Boston, and spent a couple days with Scott's sister Mel, and her family. It was nice to see Laney with her cousins and enjoy some quality time together. It turned into true quality time when the ice storm knocked out the power to over 500,000 people's homes including theirs. It was quite the adjustment from tropical Brazil to ice storm/no heat Massachusetts!!! But we took advantage of the lack of desire to be in their freezing home and spent more time at the mall than usual. We had no TV to watch so we caught up on years of conversations. The one thing I did get to do was go to the Ladies Christmas Party for their church. It was fun seeing Melissa as the Pastor's wife and how she is serving there, the relationships she is building and the many ladies whose lives she is touching.
After that, we scooted up to Maine. I was sad to leave those poor freezing people, but looking forward to being home. We stopped in the near by city to see the Christmas Spectacular - a variety show at my friend, Sarah's, church. It was spectacular!!! Laney and I throughly enjoyed the christmas, Maine, -ness of it all. After that, we drove home to Hartford.
My friend Lori lives about a mile from our home ( and Scott's folk's home) and I thought I would drop in and surprise Lori, she knew I was coming, but didn't expect me on her doorstep Saturday night. That was fun. Laney saw her friend, Kristen, and they were busy catching up. We didn't stay long, but it was so nice to at least see them for a few minutes. then on to Grammy's and Grampy's house.
It was so nice to walk into their cozy wood heated home and snuggle into a warm bed. Sunday morning we were up early and headed to church. It was like home to walk into church and see so many friends. People who have had a part in Scott and my life for many years. Wayside Bible Baptist Church is a place where I feel like I grew up, were Scott and I learned how to serve and what gifts God had given us. I lost count of how many people I hugged, and said hello to. There wasn't enough time to catch up with everyone, but just being there was water to a thirsty soul. Sitting in church, and chatting through coffee hour, sitting in Sunday School and being taught, it was good.
After church Laney and I headed back to Scott's folks cabin for lunch and snuggled up and watched a movie. We then headed up to Rumford to see my girls, the ones I nannied for years, and their mom, Diane. It was so nice to see them all, to hug and catch up on all that is going on in their lives, to meet boyfriends, and hear about their school and sports activities, it is hard to believe that Chelsea, who was 5 when I started that job, is 21!!! Where did the time go.
Monday started with a visit to my chiropractor and then a luncheon at my friend Sue's house, many of my favorite people were there and we talked and ate for hours, it was perfect. After that Shawn and I headed to Augusta ( the capital of Maine and a great place to shop) to do some errands and to meet up with her daughter - one of my favorite babysitters - Kayla and we had supper together at the Olive Garden. It was so nice, we talked the entire time, never quiet a second, so many things to catch up on.

Dave and Sue, Home away from home

Tuesday was packing day and getting ready to head to Alaska. It was a bit overwhelming, getting all the gifts together for my family, things I had made and I wanted to have wrapped, and ready. Then we met Sarah in Auburn again, and headed south. The original plan was to leave in the early morning and drive to Boston for my flight, but it wasn't going to be a fun trip with wintery mix predicted for those hours on the road, so she paid for Laney and I to stay in a hotel near the airport. We stopped for dinner on the way and I had to have Lobster, it was sooooo good!!! I even shared a few bites with Laney. AHHHHHH

Sarah and I at the Weathervane
Wednesday started out good, our flight left on time ( or only 30 minutes late - even though it was snowing) and we landed in time to run and catch our next flight, to only sit on the tarmack for an hour!!! We landed an hour late in Anchorage, tired of sitting, 11 hours of travel all day is a killer, and we still had 6 hours of driving before we arrived in Valdez. Charis and Jerry met us, and we headed out. Surprisingly it was still daylight so we could enjoy the amazing views, Alaska is for sure breathtaking!!

We arrived close to 11 pm Alaska time, 3 am Maine time, 6 am Brazil time. Laney and I were beat. It was so nice that my sisters were up and waiting for us, and hugs and chatting took place.

Laney and our roommate in Valdez
Thursday dawned around 10 am and Laney and I awoke in a winter wonderland. We spent most of the day just lounging and chatting with the family. That night was the shower for Charis at the church and we just hung around until then. Bruce, my brother, was flying and it looked like he would get in around 3 am, but then we found out it would be 5 am due to flight cancellations and rerouting, love travel in the winter!!! The shower was very nice, it was fun seeing how many people we excited about Charis's wedding and Jerry. She was spoiled with lots of nice gifts and of course the food was GREAT!!!

Katie and Tasha

Friday was fun, Bruce arrived around 8 am, and the talking began again, it was such fun to be together, just David, my oldest brother, wasn't there. But the rest of us, spent lots of time catching up. Bruce was so tired but he didn't want to sleep until night. Jamin, Becky's husband had driven Bruce up and so the two of them were pretty wiped. The house now was full, it was a 3 bedroom house, with one bathroom, and a half kitchen. That poor bathroom never had a break, but we all seemed to manage to get in when we needed to. The kids (all 6 of them) were content, they had X-box, provided by the bed and breakfast owners, cartoons, and cousins!!! What more could you ask for???

Bruce and the cousins

Friday was our Christmas Eve, so we had plans for lots of good food, and passed around our gifts, some were opened, others were saved for Christmas. We played games and had a ball. It was so nice to be together as a family!!! Friday, my sister Becky drove Bruce and I up to the pass, we had both driven in in the dark so had missed the view of the glacier and the amazing mountains. It was worth the drive, plus time with sisters is just more fun.

Becky and I at Thompson Pass and it was 20 below!!! but beautiful

Saturday, was THE DAY!!! first we had a brunch ( amazing food!!!) and then the rehearsal. The piano I was playing was awesome - and I don't exaggerate!!! It was fun watching the wedding being set the little kids practicing their parts, etc. We left, for a few hours, and then it was time. We got there at 4 and everyone got dressed. Charis was beautiful, Sandi was pretty and the kids were adorable. The men were there, and dressed ready for the fun of the day. And it all came together in a moment, the best part as they said their vows to each other. There wasn't the usual, tons of speaking and singing, it was really just about them and their vows. I loved the simplicity of it all. My Dad and Charis

Danny and Amanda - Becky's kids

The reception was decorated very nicely, and the food was more than I have ever seen at a wedding, it was so good. Charis had friends who really did an amazing job on everything. I was quite impressed. They did it all, and we could just enjoy being together. It was quite the gift.

And then it was done, and time to head home.

Sunday we drove out to Anchorage, it was a nice drive, long, but breathtaking, so worth it. We had dinner together then headed to the hotel. Bruce and I would spend the night and fly out the next day, Becky and Katie ( my two sisters who live in Alaska) would drive home and mom and dad and Sandi and Caleb would fly out at midnight - that is until their flight was cancelled and they got stranded until the 26th!!! the rest of us made it out but they had to stay. It was a forced vacation, but they said it was put to good use, and were able to even catch up on e-mails and letters, and other computer work.

Hanging out at the hotel grabbing last minute memories

Laney and I flew home for three days straight, 45 hours of flying, but we made it home at 2 am for Christmas, it was the longest trip in my life, but it was so good to be going home that we didn't complain, and we slept tons, just unwinding from the crazy past two weeks. And we celebrated Christmas Eve at 2 am when we arrived,

There is no place like home!!!