Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Additional Pics from our trip

I decided to go ahead and post the rest of the trip pics that it wouldnt let me post on the other one. This is the Japanese restaurant we went to with Mr. Baum, my 20wk belly, the kids chillin', IHOP, and Mr Baum with a map of some of his missionary travels through Europe. See post below for more details! :)

Trip to Kansas City

As I mentioned in my last post, we made a trip to Kansas City last week and this gentleman is one of the main reasons. His name is Wilhelm Baum, a German-born Jew, now US citizen, and retired missionary to Japan. He is now 91 years old! We stayed at his house, which he was quite happy about, because he is so lonely.

His wife has been in a nursing home for 3 years. Here we went to visit her. Fabio was sitting in her wheel chair with Dominique. :) She was *the* sweetest lady!

Dominique now looks at the camera and says "CHEESE"~! This is better than the last several months of looking the other direction, but it still makes it hard to get a "natural" shot.

We did yard and house work for "Grandpa Baum" while we were there. Here the kids are "helping".

Joshua's new hobby is "harvesting grain". :) They were a bit restless at times, so I got them a little farm set at a garage sale we went to to keep them busy. He harvested quite a lot of "grain" from Mr. Baum's yard to keep in his silo.

This is where the conference was, hosting Argentine pastors Claudio Freidzon and Carlos Anacondia, as well as merengue singer Giovanni. I know you probably havent heard of them, but they are quite well known in the Christian hispanic world and we really enjoy their ministries.

This is on the way there, where we stopped half way at a hotel with a pool. The kids LOVE it (and we do too!).

Ah, a family picture! Dont ask me what Dominique had in her mouth! hehe...

I had several other pics I wanted to post, but I must have reached the limit for one post, because it wouldnt let me post any more. MAYBE I will get around to posting them later, but then again, maybe not! They included pics of us at at Japanese restaurant with Mr. Baum (btw, it was really refreshing to have someone to speak Japanese with!), picture of our visit to IHOP (International House of Prayer), and a few other misc....

It was fun, and as always, it is good to be home! :) One cool thing is that Dominique slept through the night every night! Usually when we are out of town, she wakes up alot, so I REALLY appreciated this! We also all shared one room, with no problems, which made me thing Wales could have worked out anyway! :) Oh well....

Mata atode ne. :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Smattering of Recent Pics

I have had a lot to post, but not much time to post it lately! I guess we've been busy making the memories to take pictures of, to post. :)
So, here are some recent pics of various things we've been up to. We will be leaving in the morning for our first family vacation, to Kansas City, so we are excited about that... and I wont be posting for a week. I'll keep ya posted when we get back!

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! I just waited *forever* for the first five pics to upload, and in the end I got an error message! Ugh. I was planning to post a whole bunch of pics tonight, but it doesnt look like it's gonna happen. I hate when stuff doesnt work right!

Well, I guess I will give you a little written update since I'm here, even though that's not as interesting! :)

Starting last week, things have been BUSY! We have spent a day at the dunes, a day blueberry picking, two days having a garage sale, and we had two tiny parties for Joshua. This week was busy with getting ready for our trip, and Bible study at my house as usual this morning.

Joshua is SO excited to be FOUR years old! He has been telling everyone he sees! He is also excited with his decision to use his birthday money to buy a swimming pool! It is one of those three feet deep, 10 feet across types, so it is nice that it is big enough for an adult to get in and cool off too!

Dominique is turning into quite my little lady! Where did my baby go? She is little miss independent now, except for days like today when I really need to get a bunch of stuff done... then she is super-clingy, of course. But I am thankful that she always sleeps well at night and lets me do the same ~ when I was pregnant with her, Joshua often got me up at night, so now I appreciate it even more!

Well, it's tired and I'm late, so I better be wrapping this up so I can get some rest! If you are wondering why we chose Kansas City for our vacation destiny, I'll tell you! :) There are three reasons, really. 1) IHOP is there ~ International House of Prayer, that is, NOT the pancake place! We plan to spend some time there where they have 24 hr prayer, 7 days a week. I am really looking forward to that kind of haven. 2) Claudio Freidzon, a pastor from Argentina who was very instrumental in the Argentina revival a few years back, will be in KC for a 4 day conference. So, we plan to go to that too. :) We saw him in Chicago 2 years ago and it was so good. We have been blessed by his ministry through videos, tapes, and books and are looking forward to seeing him again. 3) I was recently given a biography of a German Jew, born in 1915, who escaped to the US during the holocaust. In the US, he met the Lord, and later ended up going to Japan as a missionary for 28 years. He now resides in KC! We thoroughly enjoyed his story and were very encouraged by his testimony and passion for souls. We have contacted him by phone and mail and we will be staying in his house! He is now 91 years old. We are very much looking forward to that too.

So, that's all folks! See ya when we get back!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

My Big Tan Working Man!

These are pics of my man workin' hard! I keep forgetting to flip the pics before uploading them, so sorry they are mostly sideways!

Working in the sun everyday has sure given him a nice tan!
He works hard, but he enjoys his work and has learned so many useful skills ~ which he is now able to put to good use in the basement! :)

On another note, today is Joshua's birthday! I will be posting more pics soon. I have lots to post, just not lots of time to post them! So, keep checking in! :)

Friday, July 07, 2006

4th of July

We had a fun 4th of July, starting off in Homewood for the parade with my mom. The kids sure loved that! We weren't able to meet up with my brother and his family, as planned, but we did "run into" Wally and Selma from our church and hung out with them for the parade. :)

They collected WAY too much candy!

Joshua and Grandma Carol

After the parade, we did meet up with my brother and his family and some friends at a park where they were having some "family fun" times. :) Joshua had his very first experience with a teeter-totter! I have always loved those and most parks dont have them anymore....
Anyway, here he is with his cousin Cheyenne.

I was excited to get to see our friends new little baby for the first time, Isabella Ann. What a darling!!! She is just not quite 3 weeks old here.

After the parade, we went back to the house and took naps, then headed to Beecher, our old stompin' grounds, for the carnival there and fireworks.

The kids loved the carousel ride, and let me tell ya, these horses could gallop!! I was quite dizzy! I had never seen such a fast merry-go-round!

Unfortunately, none of my pics of the fireworks turned out either, but the kids were quite mezmerized by them!!! It was a lot of fun, except for the drive home ~ by then they were done for and it was... um... well, let's just say WAY past time for bed!!!
The 4th of July is also my dad's birthday, so Happy Birthday, Dad! We didnt get to spend it with him, but at least he got to spend it with my brother in San Diego. They had a nice time, I hear.

Monday, July 03, 2006


WELL........... some of you may already know this, but guess what???? We are NOT going after all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAaaaaaahhhhh!!!!

It was not easy to come to the decision of going, and since we had already been through the application/ acceptance process and everything, as far as we knew, it was only a matter of us making the final decision to GO, and we would go! So, once our decision was final, we contacted the school, and started packing our bags! Literally! Since we only had two months to make an international move with a family of soon-to-be five, I figured the sooner, the better. So, I have two big suitcases sitting in my room, fully packed, with our winter clothes, things for the baby, my non-maternity clothes, etc, etc. I also had been going through everything in the house, getting rid of a bunch of stuff, packing other stuff away, cleaning out the fridge of things we wouldn't use up by then and stuff like that. You know, preparing and planning to leave!

So anyway, last week we got an email from the school stating that they had decided to go ahead with some renovations on the buildings and dorms on the campus, which meant that they would have to limit the number of students they could receive this year, and that they would not have space for us.....

This was a bit of a shock! But, we had specifically prayed about the accomodation issue, that if it were God's will that we go, that they would have space for us on campus, as we *really* did not want to live off campus. So, in that regard, we got our answer, plain as day.

Sometimes it is hard to understand God's ways. Our only motive for wanting to go was to become better equipped for His service and for whatever ministry He had for us in the future. To become "workmen that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth".

For the whole last year that we have been praying about this, at each step along the way, it has *seemed* that God has been arranging everything for us to be able to GO! He has challenged us over and over in our faith and willingness to step out, in situation after situation, as we have considered the many issues related to the decision to go. He has taught us much in the process, that much is for sure.

Fabio read a story the other day about a man who was told by God to push a boulder, every day for a year. He did so faithfully. At the end of the year, he was discouraged and felt like a failure, because the boulder had not moved, even one centimeter. But the Lord told him, "Well done, good and faithful servant! I never told you to *move* the boulder, I only asked you to push on it!"

So, we feel similarly. God has challenged us, and we have pushed the boulder with all of our might, not knowing that it was never meant to actually MOVE! It is disappointing, but we rest in the fact that God has our best in mind and apparently other plans for us instead. Praise Him!