Sunday, October 31, 2010

S*f*t*R... A Covered Bridge in MA

This week ee are at a missions conference at Twin City BC in Lunenburg, MA. It is a great place that has been the parent church of so many works started in this area. It so reminds me of my home church for so many reason! I will post pictures of the auditorium that was built about 20 years ago... using the plans from my home church! We walked in and felt like we were "home" instantly! It was a great feeling! 

Our first day here, they treated ladies to a wonderful brunch. Just outside the building was this gorgeous bridge that was a perfect picture place. One of the ladies (Thanks Sue!!) had her camera and graciously took our picture. 
 Savannah and I don't have a lot of pictures of just us, so these will be precious memories for many years to come!
 I photoshopped them a little, but the bridge was so pretty in it's own right that it wasn't necessary... I just  like to play!
 This one is perfect all by itself! Look at the gorgeous Oak leaves in the forefront! I just LoVe everything about Oak trees, but that is another post :)
 Here is us with another missionary mom and daughter. Becky and Kayla. Savannah and Kay have bonded... they have traded shoes already and Savannah has borrowed her coat for a few days. That is as good as born-sisters by now! Even though she is 10, they get along great. Savannah might be able to "shadow" her for a bit tomorrow at school. It will be her first time in a "real" school classroom!

Here is a close up of the sign. I know it is still barely readable, but the top one says "This bridge build without use of federal funds". We all cracked up because couldn't they have just said "This bridge built by _____" ? It was just so odd to see that. I don't remember what the little one said... but it was much less memorable! I will have to google this and get to the bottom of it! If it is anything of interest, I will be sure to post about it!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Meet GyPSy...

This is our navigation system. And we love her. She was a present from fellow missionaries the P's and Momma Jane. We love them too. 
But the reason I am so excited at this particular point is... She finally has a name!! 

Naming the GPS all started years ago when Dan and KP traveled to MS for the first time and borrowed a Magellan. They chose the syrupy sweet woman's voice, and affectionately named it "Maggie". (Now mind you, if I ever spoke to my husband the way she did, he would never give me the time of day, let alone follow my directions!) 


We then got our own GPS... a Tom-Tom. I always wondered why we kept calling it "Tom-Tom"... but the woman's voice was (once again) chosen. Regardless of what we called it, it flaked out completely. *note... Do Not buy refurbished electronics. Especially if you hope for it to keep you on the right road late at night in a rainstorm driving through Pennsylvania. Just suffice it to say, Danville is no where near my home, despite how desperately I may wish it to be. 


On to our lovely, new, NON-refurbished and very reliable navigation device! For months we just said "GPS", or in a really bad lapse of memory called it "Tom-Tom", kind of like the third child in a family that never gets called by his own name first. Just for fear it may spite us and fritz out... that needed to stop and QuIcK!!  

Then one day it just rolled off my tongue...  GyPSy! It is so appropriate on so many levels! We love that it has it's own identity that is so fitting and unique. 

You may now go on with your day that I am sure is much more complete knowing this bit of trivia about our family. You're Welcome. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Things that make me Smile...

My cell phone is the most reliable camera for me. I usually bring the regular camera, but seldom get it out. These are a few of the pictures on my phone card that make me smile whenever I look at them. 

 This is Levi pressure washing a boat that he went on with Dan and Micah, and John, the owner.  John lives in Connecticut, very near the Long Island Sound, and the guys went with him on his last trip of this summer. They traveled the entire 20 miles across, had a luxurious lunch at McD's, and then came back. The whole day's events make our family really sound like jet setters! They had breakfast in Trumbull, CT... Lunch in Port Jefferson, NY... and dinner in Athol, MA! Only on deputation, I tell ya!
 This picture is Savannah with her BFF Livvie, and her brother, Sam. Truth be told she loves Sam nearly as much! The coolest thing is their mom is one of my closest friends ... and their papa is one of Dan's! It truly is a love affair of both families!! God is so good! I just love this picture... they were heading out after a day of playing, and we were getting ready to hit the road again. Just so many memories tucked away in my heart!
 Here is Molly Dog at her new home... with a snuggie on! Her new mommy is so great to keep us updated on how she is doing. I really think they love her more than I ever did! Savannah misses her tons, but all in all she handles it well because she knows Molly is so HaPpY! The funniest thing about this... our family has long mocked out the snuggie craze... A few of us own bathrobes made out of the same fabric though. Close as can be with out actually being one! Well Molly looks wonderful in her hot pink Snuggie! :)
 This is a picture under the pier at St Augustine Beach. It is such a cool place to sit. The day was lovely, and the kids were all running in the water and finding sharks, jelly fish, sea turtles and shells. Well, not really sharks. The best thing about this, though, is the date was late into September! As a born and raised Yankee, I would normally be in my snuggie bathrobe as much as possible by then, and here I was sitting on the beach! Florida is- truth be told- too hot. But I figure it is in my future, as KP keeps posting about the temps in Zambia!! hot - HoT - HOT!!
Speaking of KP... this is my Savannah and Analiese right before the P's went back to Zambia. She was just a peanut here! We cannot wait to get to Zambia! We are praying that the Lord will shorten these days of deputation... but until then we are certainly enjoying every moment of it! 


Thursday, October 21, 2010

S*f*t*R... VT and ME

Dreams come true on deputation!! 

We loved it in Vermont, and we were able to help Cornerstone BC finish a painting project before the winter set in. We were glad to be able to be a blessing to them! It is always our hope that along with developing relationships and meeting people, we can somehow be a blessing to them. Our guys are always needing to be busy, if for nothing else than to get out of the camper! living in 300 sq ft gets a little tight after a while! 

After leaving VT, we then went to Sanford, Maine. Calvary BC is a mission work of the Bell family. They live on 81 wooded  acres here, and have all the necessary equipment to maintain it. All of this property was given to them from a dear woman who now attends their church. She was a retiree that had never married, and a godly woman that was adopted by the Bell's when they first came to this area. They saw she had alot of property and no one to help her with things. They were more than glad to get the wood and shovel snow etc. She had no children or other family to leave all of this to, and decided to adopt them as well! What a blessing! The Lord surely puts people together in poetic ways! 
 Our guys are true men's men... and anywhere there are guns, four-wheelers, and power equipment they are sure to be in their glee. Yesterday they spent the day shooting 22's, 25's and a 38. Pastor Bell is also a pilot that uses his plane to get him to the remote areas in Maine and other areas to be an effective minister, letting the plane take him to several locations a day! A far cry from driving! After shooting, he loaded everyone up in his truck and took them to the hanger. They have a couple of planes, but the only one in operation right now is a two seater. Each of the guys got an ariel tour of Sanford. He even let Levi and Micah "drive"!  Would you say that? Or steer? Fly? Whatever it is called... they had the throttle! I have to get the pictures from Levi... perhaps I will upload them tomorrow!

Anyhow, back to Earth... we were more than glad to give then a hand one afternoon doing some chores. That meant machinery. And plenty of it! This little back hoe, while very effective, was also a nice big toy. Dan now has a fall back job as a digger should he ever need it!
 Levi, Dan and Micah chopped, split, and stacked over two face cord of wood. The pastor heats his home with a wood burning boiler, so this will surely come in handy in a few short months!
Savannah got involved helping too. She figured if they aren't offering rides on the four wheeler, she may as well help! 
 So for a few moments she did... the rest of the time she spent waiting patiently! Bummer that the thunder boomers weren't just threatening though. The rain came down in buckets before the rides could resume!
 That is Pastor Bell in the green chamois behind the bucket of the digger. He started us off and then had to go do pastor stuff :)
They worked well and long. Hard work that wood is! Heavy too! I tried to lift a log and nearly fell down on the ground! 
 Pastor gave Levi a turn on the digger too. He said he did great! Perhaps he has a future career in this, who knows!
This is just what we have always prayed for the opportunity to have. A chance to be a blessing. We are not the typical missionaries... singers, instrumentalists, etc. Just a bunch of rugged, rough and tumble guys (tempered by sweet and congenial women...!) who thoroughly love all of this! Praise God! 


Saturday, October 16, 2010

"My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers

I don't read "My Utmost..." by Chambers every day.

I don't do anything every day except the things regulated by my sub-conscious brain, but that is a post for another day!

 However, I did read it today. We are heading out today for the start of another three weeks of meetings, and I was very encouraged by it! October 16 is titled "The Key to the Masters orders" and Matthew 9:38 is the verse in focus. I especially love the final few sentences.

"No Christian has a special work to do. A Christian is called to be Jesus Christ's own, one who is not above his master, one who does not dictate to Jesus Christ what he intends to do. Our Lord calls us to no special work: He Calls to Himself. 'Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,' and He will engineer the circumstances and thrust you out."

Here's to being thrust out!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

We are Feeling the Love!

A PeRfEcT Anniversary!
Out to lunch with great friends... Thanks Dr. B. and Amy =) ...
come home to a clean house... Thank you Si, Levi, Mic and Vannah...
And a Fruit Bouquet delivered with Love... Thank you Momma J!!
And the day is barely half over!

For As Long as You Both Shall Live...

"October 14, 1989"
21 years ago today, I married my best friend. My confidante. Truly the best person for me on the planet.

That is what we engraved inside our wedding bands. Honestly, we never thought we would ever have children... let alone have one in college! The rapture is surely closer today than it was 21 years ago, and while we still look forward to the Lord's calling us up... we are thankful and blessed to have walked with the Lord... his hand guiding us- hand in hand for these 21 years.
The way we were... He has surely improved with age. Men are blessed like that!

This pretty much sums up our marriage. This is a prophetical picture! It was a year before we were married... not even engaged yet. Him wondering "Is she for real??" ... me thinking "you aint seen nothing yet!
We were married at First Bible Baptist Church, in the original chapel. The day was beautiful.

We were surrounded by family and friends. Many memories are captured in this picture. High school, college, family, church. Everything is represented. We still keep in contact with every person in our wedding party! That is a blessing, as I know many people who never again ever see or talk with their best man or maid of honor, let alone some that were in the wedding party.
While we were so young, I don't think we could have made better choices in our forever mate had we waited until we were old and wise. God has blessed. We are thankful, and look forward to 21 more... unless He comes for us first!!


THE Home Schooling Chapter...

I am nearing the end of the New Testament, and this morning's reading was timely... and a bit funny truth be told. It was through 2 Thessalonians and I read the last chapter just as the guys- while "doing" their school- were at a **melt down moment. 

**What that means in my home, (remember there are three boys, ages 16, 15 and 12...) is various forms of physical pain inflicted on one another with any instrument available (pencils are a weapon friends, make no mistake!) interspersed with bodily noises created from any conceivable part of their person. Clucking, chirping, bellowing, squeaking, honking ... the list is endless. Did you know that you can literally make your forearm sing? Do not ask me how, but it is possible. I think it involves spit. But that is just a guess.

Anyhow... this was occurring when I was reading chapter 3. If you can notice verses 7, 11, 12, 13, 14... well read the whole chapter! It was timely, comical, and well taken! I kept reading aloud various verses... they of course had comments to make. It didn't have quite the effect I was expecting. Penitent and contrite was what I was going for. 

They just kept laughing. 

And punching. 

And "singing"... 

I don't know, but it could have been the manner in which the message was delivered.  I was less than authoritative. BUT... the word of the Lord will not return void. They did get the message to be sure! It is not quite lunch time, and they are almost done. 

Sort of. 

I am done to be sure! 

Monday, October 11, 2010

An Unexpected... but Pleasant... Detour

We had a wonderful weekend in PA presenting at Wyebrook BC. Although the drive down was absolutely gorgeous as we went through the Appalachin Mountain range, the switchback roads were less than pleasant!
For the route home we decided to take a more level route, and didn't even notice it brought us right through Hershey,PA! We knew they had a free chocolate tour so we went to Chocolate World. Not usually "process " person, I am learning to enjoy a stop to smell the fragrances along the way! I prefer chocolate to roses anyday!

Friday, October 8, 2010

On Preservation...

I have long said if ever there was a fire in our home, the only things (besides living things!) that are to be rescued, are pictures! I have only a few really precious in my mind, but there are literally thousands of pictures in envelopes with little hand written memos like "Christmas '01", and "liv 7 yrs". Who knows which of these will be special to my kids? They are all in a huge vinyl bag... because I am the self declared worst scrap booker on the planet. I don't even try anymore. If I cannot do it on this blog, sadly it doesn't get done.

So... in the interest of keeping those few in a forever place (hopefully!), I am taking advantage of my scanner and this blog. Digital, here we come! The beauty of it is I can fix them too! In some of the originals there are small rips, smears and specks. With photoshop... VoiLa! I may offer a service to repair old photos, they turned out so well! (always thinking of ways to fund the mission!!) So, you blessed internet readers...Enjoy! Do not be confused...I did not put them in order. Girls together and boys together.

Olivia Danae
These are all the One Year photos. Who knew for Liv and Savannah I would have to keep that dress for 11 years!! And the shoes from Liv were long destroyed! Three brothers made sure of that!
Savannah Jolie
All five are exactly one year old, give or take a couple of days.
Olivia Danae
July 4 7lb-9oz 21" long
They look so similar, and yet so very different! One thing for sure, their little faces predicted their personality! Olivia- sweet and compliant, tender but not a pushover. Savannah, precocious and curious, generous with her love, but also her opinion!
Savannah Jolie
March 3 8lb-3oz 21" long
My girls are as different as night and day in so many ways, and yet so alike in others!
Josiah Daniel
January 1 8lbs-15oz 22" long
And the boys! Three boys in four years was like near to kill me. They were precious, rugged, and complete energy balls! My friend, Jolie, gave me this outfit when Si was born. It was an 18 months, and with the track record for Olivia wearing a 2T, I was worried it wouldn't fit them when they were one!
Levi Alexander
July 19 10lbs-1oz 24" long
Take a look at their birth weights, and you can see why I was worried! I am convinced birthweight has little to do with adult weight.
Micah Jesse
February 27 10lbs-13oz 22" long
I kept trying to get them to "pose" like the one previous, they each had their own style! Reaching, pulling, clapping... it is all good!
This is a sneak preview of the next edition of "preservation"... 6 weeks!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

An 'aha' moment with the laundry ...

Just in case there is someone out there who ever needs to know... Vera Wang bags go through the washing machine JuSt FiNe!!

It was nearing the end of our six weeks on the road, and Dan lovingly brought me back a Dove dark chocolate bar. {{love}} Being a woman of great self-control, I only ate half of it and then hid the rest in my purse. (I have a little more trouble with sharing.)

We had to travel EaRLy the next morning and upon reaching the next church, we stopped at a store to get some essentials. (yes, ice cream falls in that category!) When I reached for my wallet... the entire contents of my purse was generously covered in my precious treasure. Oh the WASTE!! Did you know the floor of a large vehicle gets extremely hot after traveling 10 hours nearly nonstop? Not hot enough to fry an egg... but certainly hot enough to melt chocolate! Needless to say my hands were also covered. It takes well over 12 wet wipes to do an in-aisle clean up. Just another tidbit for you.

Anyhow... we are home for about 30 hours and I figured "why NOT?"...and tossed the bag into one of the 9 loads of laundry I have done in the past 16 hours. Voila! It looks better than when I got it at the 2nd hand store. Who knew??

I am taking the good with the bad on this one!