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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas day came and went in a blur of activity! We spent the morning with Rob's side of the family, and then headed to my parents' house in the evening. The island is our home until January 11th and we will spend it visiting, visiting, and visiting some more! It is very busy, but we are so encouraged by people's enthusiasm and we pray that we are a blessing and encouragement for each of their families as well.

8 of 10 Grandchildren (18 month old twins from Zambia are missing). No Joyanne does not look happy, does she! Everybody else is anticipating opening gifts as they patiently watched Uncle Matt bring them all into the living room.

Faith enjoys watching Toy Story 1 & 2, and was pretty excited to have her own "Jessie" now. We will treasure this Christmas as we shared the excitement of giving gifts with most of the cousins! We can only imagine when we may get the chance to do that again.

Wesley took time to occupy himself with a new coloring book. Officially, I believe this is the first time my energetic 2.5 year old has stopped to seriously try coloring!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Fun Family Day

 The commuter train in our town had a special on this December. Bring a new toy and ride the train for free! So we thought the kids would appreciate this experience. Plus, we were ready to do something fun as family. While we were downtown for the afternoon, we visited Science World. I thought it might be too old for our kids, but they loved it! I think if we'd (us parents) had the energy they would have gone and played with everything again.
My brother was over visiting, so he came along which worked out perfectly! Not only did we really enjoy his company, but having a pair of arms for each child was a must! I think Rob and I could have done it alone, it just would have been slower and I don't think we would have enjoyed it as much :) This way we were each able to follow a child around and we didn't have to worry so much where the other were.
 Faith and Wesley spent many minutes trying to talk to each other into the whisper dishes (I think they're called).
 Because Joyanne is walking now, she has discovered a new sense of freedom! She was toodling around the whole place and was taking it all in.
 Faith tried out many of the experiments.
The kids sat through an entire balloon show and Faith was picked as a volunteer at one point. She was pretty excited to be able to go "on stage."

 Joyanne playing with some very 'dirty' building blocks. Oh well, immune-building, right? :)
We had such a fun day. We were exhausted by the end of it, but so glad we took the time to go.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Cookies

 The other evening we spent decorating snowmen and christmas trees with icing and sprinkles. I think the kids had more fun eating the sprinkles than decorating!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas

Our house is beginning to feel Christmasy! We put up our tree last week and we have hung the decorations. Watching my four year old get excited about these decorations has been fun this year. It has also caused me to wonder, "Should I try and pack a smallish box of ornaments to take with us?"  "Do we really have to leave this kind of stuff behind? Or get rid of it altogether?" It has also caused me to think that Christmas tradition and the holiday season should have everything to do with our Creator and Lord, and very little do with material symbols, much less material symbols of commercialism that our culture has so grossly overwhelmed us with! So I have been pondering ways in which we will create traditions and special times for Christmas without the "norm" that Rob and I were raised with (which were nice and healthy and God-focused, I'll note.)
However, I was thinking that our children may grow up with memories of Mango smells and tropical seasonal African flowers around Christmas time rather than my childhood memories of cinnamon spice potpourri and the pine scent from a real Christmas tree in our home. And even though mandarin oranges seem to be available year-round now, I still can't help think of Christmas when I go to peel one. I have a feeling my children won't share that nostalgia. Is that weird?
These thoughts are really trivial at the end of the day, in comparison with things of true importance: the birth of Christ, the message of hope He brings, His love and grace and forgiveness! But they are thoughts I've had through this process nonetheless.

Merry Christmas!
We hope you enjoy our holiday newsletter due to arrive in your homes any day now. If you are interested in receiving one, please email us for us a copy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Colds Be Gone - Christmas Come

For the most part, the children are bouncing around the house once again. The noses continue to run, and the coughs are being very stubborn, but the kids seem to be on the mend. Emotions don't seem to be running quite so high as of late. However, I believe I am finally succumbing to this cold. It has tried to take me down a couple of times over the last few weeks, without success, but the sore throat is definitely the real thing this time!

On a higher note, we have pulled out our Christmas decorations. I was surprised at my sudden sentiment! Perhaps I have been putting off feeling certain things through this process of readying for the mission field, but now as Christmas is approaching quickly, certain things will inevitably be felt. Like, spending our last Christmas in this house for a very long time; decorating it for the last time, perhaps even seeing these silly decorations for the last time! Faith has been opening those boxes of decorations over the last couple of days, very anxious to get them up. It has been so cute to watch her enthusiasm over it. I think this is the first Christmas she has been so excited to pull these sorts of things out, which is neat for me, because it helps me reflect on my own childhood nostalgia.

We are also getting our Christmas newsletter ready to mail out! Please send us an e-mail if you'd like to receive one.

Are you decorating for Christmas yet?

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's """""Cold""""" and Flu Season

The temperature over the last few days has averaged -5(C), and it has been blowing like crazy out there! Over the weekend we thought we would lose our power it was so windy out. Snow has fallen on the hills in our town, but we haven't seen much of it as we live on the flats or flood-plain. It's just plain COLD!

With this cold weather, we have also welcomed flu season. Not happily, but inevitably. The kids have been battling awful coughs and runny noses. As each one takes their turn being up during multiple times during the night, our energy level is waning. On the brighter side, it is just coughing and snot we are dealing with, rather than puke buckets and running children to the bathroom.

Rob continues to fit in the projects around the house, and we are still happy with the heat!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nous apprendre le francais, s'il vous plait

Neither Rob or I took French very seriously when both of our mothers attempted to teach us when we were being homeschooled. Now we wish we'd had!

The French lessons are unofficially starting in our house now. My mom let us borrow the French course she used on me in Grade 8 or 9 (I think), and friends of ours from church also let us borrow the Rosetta Stone French computer course. They both look terrific and we are actually enjoying these preliminary lessons in language.

Faith watched half a dozen episodes of Caillou in French this morning. I asked her what they were about and she said, "I don't know!" However, she kept asking me to put more on. I'm thinking it was simply an excuse to watch more television. It's funny to hear her and Wesley try and mimick French words they are hearing us listen to. Come to think of it, it's probably even funnier listening to Rob and me try to say them!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Updating Site

All the new changes to our site are now finished. Feel free to browse the new tabs and check out all the new pages we have added. There is lots of information about us, MAF, and Madagascar in them.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Updating Site

Please bear with us as we are making changes and additions to this website. We would love to have you return and check out the pages listed above.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We have been home for nearly a week now and it feels fantastic! It has been nice to visit with family and friends, but there's something special about being home.

We have managed to welcome to the cooler Autumn weather with the (near) completion of our heating system! It is up and running officially, though not as efficient as it will be in the coming weeks. It is amazing to have warm wood floors in our house. After experiencing 5 winters in this house with little heat, we are enjoying the warmth now. I can feel good about Joyanne crawling around on the floor and not freezing her hands and knees off! Also, guests no longer have to pack their slippers and winter socks when they visit our house!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rob's Bear

Rob and my brother went hunting for a day on the island. After seeing nothing all day long, ready to pack it in for the day, they spotted this bear.
I was pretty impressed with my mother's flexibility and openness as the hide was kept in her deep freeze, the  head in their garage, and the meat carefully butchered on their back patio and then coiled into many many sausages in her kitchen.... good thing the sausage turned out! After we all took turns tasting the meat, it passed the test. It is good. We now have 48 pounds of bear meat to eat until we leave for Madagascar.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Canucks & Play Time

Rob and I are not at all hockey fans, but hockey is unavoidable when we visit my parents house, and especially my younger brother Kurtis! When the game came on Sunday evening, he quickly pulled a little Canucks Jersey onto Wesley who thought that was great!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Island Bound

Currently, we are on Vancouver Island. We arrived last night with a fairly full schedule ahead of us!

This morning we had the privilege of sharing at Nanoose Evangelical Free Church. We were touched by the warmth there and felt welcomed into their fellowship immediately.

October 21: We will be sharing at Wakasiah Gospel Chapel
October 24: We will be sharing at Departure Bay Baptist Church

As well as these formal planned services, we are looking forward to visiting individuals and family while we are here.

We would love the chance to visit with you personally while we are here! Please contact us.

Please continue to pray for strength. This time of deputation service is proving to challenge and strengthen us, as a family and a couple. We appreciate your prayer support!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

To London & Back in 4 Days

Rob had the privilege of traveling to London last Sunday to meet with some of the MAF staff at the UK Headquarters for Operations for the Africa region. Truly a whirlwind trip! He left Sunday evening and arrived home on Thursday afternoon. On Tuesday however there was time to see a few of London's sights. For not ever traveling across the Atlantic, he couldn't go to London without trying to see something. The purpose for this trip was to interview and evaluate Rob for the position of Chief Engineer in Madagascar. We are very pleased to announce that MAF has accepted Rob for this position and our family is now officially Madagascar bound!!!

This is a little section of town in Ashford, UK--about a half hour train ride south of London. The UK operations office is located here in Ashford.
A church in Ashford
Big Ben, in London of course. It was very nice that it was sunny during the only day that Rob had to see some sights!
The Eye
Rob remarked how narrow their streets were.
London Bridge
City Hall in London
Buckingham Palace
Green Park
The British Royal Museum
Outside of the British Royal Museum
The Rosetta Stone, which Rob seemed pretty excited to see.
This is a chair made of gun parts. This is part of an Africa display and all the guns used were traded in by the locals for tools.
And a tree sculpted from gun parts as well.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Playing At Oma's Again

We are back and forth between our house and Oma's again. She has gone on a round-world tour and is now in Zambia visiting her daughter and son-in-law and has met her newest twin granddaughters.

Meanwhile, we are here enjoying her house once again.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fall Is Here

September has arrived and the crisp air is sending us a signal that Fall will be upon us shortly! It has been a fantastic summer; we have done much and learned even more.

"Good-bye Summer, until next year ..."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Tonight Faith goes to Awana! I am pretty happy for this opportunity. I grew up going to Awana and have some very nice memories of the program. For those of you who may not have heard of Awana, it is a kids club that focuses on Scripture memory to develop spiritually strong children and youth who faithfully follow Jesus Christ.

Each week more than 1 million kids ages 2 to 18 participate in Awana. Over 12,000 churches in the U.S. and more than 8,000 internationally run Awana programs that change young lives through biblical truth.

Why AWANA? The name is based on 2 Timothy 2:15

I'm looking forward to a great year with Faith there, and who knows, maybe we'll start our own club in Madagascar when we get there!