Friday, March 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Alexie!

This is our Alexie Christine eleven years ago...
Here with big sister, Adriana...
I remember this photo shoot. I took many, many shots of the two of them together that day.
Here's our Alexie Christine today...Thank you God for this precious gift. We love you, Alexie!

Monday, March 24, 2008

He is Risen!

And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

1 Corinthians 15:14

He is risen! He is risen, indeed! That is the essential difference between Christianity and so many other beliefs in this world. It is based not on some cosmic happening or fairy tale. HE IS RISEN!

There may be things we don't understand. There may be things about which we disagree. But, HE IS RISEN!

The people who were alive when the event occurred, the first Easter, based their testimony on this fact. Many of them gave their lives for it. As the passage above says, if the resurrection is not a real event there is no need to bother. But it is true. HE IS RISEN, INDEED!

If He did not defeat death and secure our redemption, it is all a hoax and we can all move along because there is no point beyond eat, drink, and be merry. But if He has been raised, nothing else in life even compares. The ramifications are incomprehensible! It changes everything. Indeed, it has changed everything!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Easter?!

Spring is already here, so what is up with the snow in the Easter baskets?

This afternoon we went to my parents house to celebrate Easter. The kids always look forward to the hunt for Easter eggs. This time the kids needed hats, gloves, and winter coats before they could go out into the snow. But they had a great time anyway. They had to hurry though, because a few of the eggs were nearly hidden by the fallen snow.

After the Easter egg hunt was over, we went inside to enjoy a fantastic meal and some games together. We are really enjoying the time we have with our family before we depart. It is truly a blessing to have family so close.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Today we arranged for our travel to the Philippines. We leave home on May 28th! There's much to do between now and then but God is way bigger than any "to do list".

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Weather Woes

Most of the girls have been studying weather in science. Annalise and I even made a little weathervane for our weather study today. Tonight was to be her very first soccer practice. But despite her prayers, the meteorologist's forecast was correct and it rained. Unlike the stricter soccer coach in the house, I did not have the kindergarteners practice in the rain. She was so disappointed. Now after being so excited and asking everyday about soccer she has to wait a whole 7 days more to begin. Instead of waiting for a rainbow to appear, we decided to bring some smiles by a little tradition we like to call "Destination Unknown". We drove the girls nuts by giving outlandish clues and driving around an unfamiliar route. But in the end they enjoyed the library showing of Enchanted and getting to see their cousins, aunt, and Grandma. All's well that ends well.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Aren't they adorable when they are asleep? Adriana and Alexie both had sleep overs tonight. Which meant that Alayna and Annalise were both without their roommates. They swore that they would never be able to sleep without their roommate. But it seems that sleep has come. We pray that when we are in Bontoc and they are all sharing a room once again, that sleep will come easily for them.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed

Our girls have been part of AWANA since they were old enough to be Cubbies. Last week they returned to talk about our time in the Philippines. After hearing their daddy preach many different times, it was their turn. No they didn't preach a sermon but it was like talking in three services as they spoke to 3 different groups at AWANA. It was a great opportunity to let them know about life in the Philippines and let them know they do not have to wait until they grow up or move across the world to be a missionary.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Polaroid Panic

Last night the girls' cousin, Jordan, spent the night. They all had a great time and even slept. This morning Adriana, Alexie, and Jordan went to a babysitting class. When Lisa, Alayna, and Annalise picked them up, Lisa took them on a scavenger hunt around town. Remembering the "Polaroid Panic" activity we did in youth group, she made clues that took them to various places where they needed to have their picture taken. As you can see, one stop was at McDonald's.

One clue said they had to have a picture taken with a clown. It just so happened, that there was an event in town with a couple clowns that were very familiar.

Mom had a commitment to be a clown for the day. This morning Lisa suggested that I show up and surprise her. (I grew up with a mom that was a clown, so it just seemed right that they should have a clown for a parent, too. When I was in high school Mom would take a group of us clowning at a couple local hospitals each week, that's how I learned to do the balloons and juggling that came in handy so often while in the Philippines.) It was fun to surprise both her and the girls when they showed up during their game.

They got some balloons and a picture (I just liked this picture better) before continuing on their journey.

Their last stop for the "Panic" was at the library where they were having a class on sculpting birds. Adriana is holding what will become a beautiful robin.

After all of that, we went to Grandma's house for more cousin play time and dinner. What a blessing it is to have family so near!



Saturday, March 8, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Hats off to Rufina! She has been diligently looking around Bontoc to find a place for us to land when we arrive. Her efforts have paid off. Our prayers have been answered. A great big THANK YOU! to Rufina and all who have been praying for our housing need in Bontoc. Arrangements have been made for us to live in the second floor of the house pictured below. (The first floor is a bakery, yummm!)

Looking from the street.

This is truly a blessing. It is located between the YWAM base and the market. It seems like a very good location for us.

This is where we will eat our rice.

The laundry room

Looking out the window. The open areas seen in this picture and the first picture are rice paddies.

The rent is half what the previous place we had been looking at. Now if only I can keep from spending the other half at the bakery each month.

We are very thankful that the Lord has answered this prayer. It is also a great blessing to be able to join friends at an established ministry.



Thursday, March 6, 2008

Green Eggs and Ham

Do you like green eggs and ham?

Loving the Peace and Quiet

We are great lovers of books. We have shelves full of books, but that is not enough for us, so I make a regular trip to stock up at our favorite place - the public library. They even have laundry baskets you can check out so I filled one to overflowing. It was so heavy I needed help moving it to the checkout desk and used a wheeled cart to get it to our van. I am used to all the questions as I wait for them to scan all my books. They no longer come from the librarians of course as I am such a regular. An older gentleman wondered how many children I had and teased, "What is that about two weeks worth?" It was amazing that he guessed right his very first try. This is one resource we will definitely miss when we are in the Philippines. Which books do you make room for and which get left behind? If this is what we read in two weeks, what about for two years?

A dilemma for another day, for now I am enjoying the peace and quiet that comes with a load of library books...(These shots were not staged in any way. They were all actually quietly reading at the same time in different spots of the house.)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tickled Pink

Just when we had geared up for Thomas returning to work he was back home at 8:30 a.m. Seems a water main at the plant broke and all nonessential workers were sent home. I'm not sure what the big deal was, I mean we had days without water in the Philippines. Aren't there any Boy Scouts there to "Be prepared."?

Anyhoo, tomorrow he should put in a day's work. It is ironic to say the least that he will need to go through the inprocessing he was in charge of not so long ago. In fact I seem to remember he got an award from the NEI for some part of the program he helped develop...

Not wanting his self-esteem to suffer after being referred to as a nonessential worker, I made sure there was plenty to fill his day. He taught a couple math lessons and answered the cries of "Help me please Daddy" as the girls faced what they deemed impossible math problems. Then there was the bathroom project. He has been diligently working on it for a while and spent most of the weekend putting the finishing touches on the walls. Even had it all painted. Am I the only one who struggles with selecting the right color from a little itty bitty square sample? I like pink and 3 out of 4 girls surveyed like pink, but this turned out to be too much possibly for Barbie herself. So being the guy he is repainted it today. We mixed the pink with some "Nostalgia White" we had on hand to get a much more soft pink. This is not the first time we have had this experience. I remember when we first started painting our family room. I thought a sunny yellow would be cheery. We started painting and even got out a hair dryer trying to be confident that when the paint dried it wouldn't be quite so intense. In the end we mixed 2 parts white to 1 part yellow to get what is on the walls. Maybe this is why many of our rooms are shades of white with fancy names like "Crisp Linen"!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Name That Blog

The girls are very excited about having their very own blog. There is just one small problem...choosing a name they all like. We asked for you to suggest a name for them but so far have only got 2 suggestions. We know you are a creative bunch, so please, after all, how can you resist the pleas of help from such adorable girls...

Looking forward to hearing all the great ideas.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Does He Glow?

I never said it wouldn't happen and I am so glad I didn't, because I have eaten my words before and they generally don't taste too good. Monday I report, to the nuclear plant I worked at for so many years, as a contractor to support the refueling outage. The work should last about a month. When I resigned my position last June, I put all of my training records, awards, certificates, text books, etc. in a box. I had hoped that it would be a box that got put into storage and forgotten about for a long time. But at the same time, I did not throw it away because I knew that my past career as a radiation protection technician could provide resources from time to time if the opportunity arose. Well, opportunity knocked. (The knocking sounded very familiar to the knocking I heard coming out of high school with no resources to go to college and a co-op scholarship was offered by the plant; kind of a knock-knock ka-ching sound. It really catches your attention.)

While I would much rather be boarding a plane to Manila, they don't offer those flights for free. This opportunity is a blessing because it will help pay for our trip across the expanse of the Pacific. Looking back I can see how God used the opportunity He put before me coming out of high school to prepare me for service. Now He is using that same venue to help send me into the service to which He has called me.

I look forward to seeing my friends with whom I worked for so many years. I am eager to share with them what I have seen God do over the past year.

I am adding the outage to our prayer list because it is always a challenging time for our family. The hours are long. It is tiring. I have also become very accustomed to being with my family for throughout the day. (This past year has held many unexpected blessings.)


p.s. The picture is of nuclear fuel assemblies being removed from the reactor. Yes, the fuel glows. No, people do not.