Tuesday, May 29, 2012

As the school year comes to an end, and I think about all that has gone into this year, I cringe.  This may rate as my all time least favorite year.

We started school the day after Labor Day with our homeschool co-op. It was great.  A chance to reconnect with friends and begin new textbooks.  The next day we got started at the kitchen table eagerly with our new books.  And then, the lake decided to intrude into our home, our school year and our peaceful life once again.

As I type, it is raining.  The spillway is high.  Hopefully the rain gets no stronger.  I hate living in fear of rain.  That is why we bought a piece of property.

That is why Dad has been working 60+ hours each week.

That is why Mom has gone slowly crazy and put the three youngest kids in public school.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Culinary Exploits

Daniel called while I was out the other day:
"Mom, I want to make something."
"Well, what do you want to make?"
"It's my own recipe. Listen, one egg, one cup flour, 1/4 cup Hershey's chocolate syrup or cocoa mix, 2 cups of oats and 1/2 cup of sugar. Do you think it will taste good?"
"Yeah, maybe it would taste good. Well, it sounds like it could be cookies. Just wait till I get home and we can work on it together, OK?"

So here it is,
Daniel's Excellent Recipe for Chocolate
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown
2 eggs
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp each of salt, baking powder and baking soda

2 cups of oats
1 cup chocolate chips

CREAM the ingredients above the ***
MIX first five dry ingredients together and mix them into the creamed
ADD oats and chips

BAKE at 350 for 15 minutes Makes about 3-4 dozen.
I think we greased the pan.
They were very good.

I forgot to take pictures of the finished product. We'll have to make them again!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


So on Wednesday it was 4 years that Kai Wei has been with us here in America. Four years ago we got home from Taiwan with a sweet, somewhat shy little ten year old. And now look at him!

Ready for his first dance!

He's several inches taller than me, needs to shave and has such an easy going, friendly way about him. Kai went to school in January, because homeschooling 4 adolescents
got to be a bit much for me. Plus he seems to learn better with the interaction in a classroom setting. So far he seems to like it and he is doing well.

Last night Dana and I took him out for Hot Pot to celebrate. We had a good time and a good meal:

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Happy 2012!

It's a bit colder here than in Colombia, but I've been enjoying the time with family!

Rebecca has been living in Washington State and I've been in Colombia, so it was good to have the whole family together.

The house flooded 2 times this past year and my parents were hoping to re-carpet before getting a Christmas tree. When they got a date for the carpet installation and it was after Christmas, they decided we might as well get a Christmas tree. The good thing about last minute Christmas tree shopping is that prices drop. Here we are buying a $10 Christmas tree 4 days before Christmas. :)

Here we are on Christmas morning in front of the Christmas tree at church.

While I've been gone the kids have gotten involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism (a medieval reenactment group). I went along with them to a sword practice session.
After the house flooded twice in one year, my parents decided moving to higher ground was probably a good idea. Here we are touring the new house which is still a work in progress.We decided to go into New York City one day. Central Park was a bit chilly, but fun for taking photos, and we all enjoyed exploring the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Jungle

Hi there- Annie posting! I haven't posted in awhile. I'm back from Colombia for a few weeks to spend Christmas with my family.

I've been busy in Colombia, working at Luz y Vida, a school for at-risk kids in disadvantaged neighborhoods of Bogotá. Another thing I've been involved in is the Jungle. Twice a month we invite neighborhood children to our indoor play space. We've been averaging around 150 children lately. The neighborhood isn't pretty- homeless men sleep on the street, the sidewalks are littered with garbage and dog poop, the smell of pot wafts from open windows, prostitutes wait in doorways a few blocks away. Many families rent rooms by the day, an entire family living in a room smaller than a walk-in closet.

When kids come to the jungle, they have a safe space to play. They scale the climbing wall, slide down the slide into the ball pit, cross the swinging bridge, slide down the fireman's pole, play foosball, soccer, ping-pong, basketball, mini-golf; make-believe in our playhouse, swing in the hammocks. Some of them come with guarded faces, but before they have left they are laughing, unguarded, free to be kids for a few hours.

After a couple of hours, we gather the kids together. They sing, they watch a puppet show or skit, and they hear us share God's word with them. We divide them into small groups and work on a craft with them that reinforces the message for the day. Before they leave we give them a snack.

Just last month we started something new- in another building down the street we've invited mom's to attend a program while their kids are playing. The first week, 30 women showed up to share, pray for each other and hear God's word. We're partnering with a local church that has begun to meet in the Jungle building. They've seen new people coming to their church as we recommend them to families that are looking for a church.

We would love to reopen a smaller program several days a week to reach out to some of the most consistent children. To do that we need to pay off the Jungle and complete a remodeling job to create classroom and kitchen space and update our bathrooms. We need your help to do that! A company has offered us a $36,000 matching grant- for every dollar we raise, they will donate a dollar up to the $36,000. We're hoping to find 1000 donors who will give $36! For $72,000 we could completely pay off what we still owe on the buildings and complete the remodeling project in the jungle. Click the link to find out how to give a tax-deductible donation to our matching gift grant! Your gift will be a blessing to kids in Barrio Santa Fe in Bogotá, Colombia!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

On Hellos, Goodbyes and Water Buffalo Meat

I visited Annie in Bogota, Colombia this month! It was wonderful to see her, meet the wonderful team of people she is working with, and get to know a bit more about the ministry first hand. My favorite activity was teaching in the first grade class room. What a riot! They were so cute, so rambunctious and so hard to keep focused. But I loved their enthusiasm and it was fun to see them actually learning to read!

Annie's house (behind the cars and sketchy guys)
At Oma, a cafe.
And some pictures about the city:

On the farm outside Bogota that the ministry owns. This is where they have a couple of houses that are used to help raise kids who have no parents or whose parents can't currently care for them. It was inspirational to see these homes where the kids were so well cared for and loved and instructed.

While I trotted about in Colombia Rebecca was kind enough to come home and stay with the kids. Great trade off for me! They had a great time.
Here are some great pictures she got:

I was worried after doing fun things like hiking and spending the day at the creek they might be sad to have me home. But they were all very excited.

However I've been left with a bit of a bittersweet ache in my heart. Being with Annie, helping in the school, realizing the stresses she is under and the sacrifices she's making, makes it all that much harder to be apart.

And having had Rebecca here for a week, and not being able to be here myself, was also a frustrating experience. Just before I left I'd bought all kinds of fabric to make medieval garb for the kids. This would have been something Rebecca and I could have enjoyed doing together--and she was here for a whole week!

It was really super nice when Rebecca made a short stop at home on Wednesday night on her way to the PAPA Festival. It was so good to be able to give her a hug and drink a cup of coffee together in the morning. She also left us with 2 pounds of water buffalo from the farm--an added bonus :-)

When my kids first left home I was happy for them and eager to see them on their way in life. I've enjoyed sharing their experience vicariously. But I think the coming and going of this month has made me realize more than ever that our old way of life is gone and "Together Forever" has taken on a slightly different meaning.

Anyway, we ate the water buffalo for dinner last night and it was chewy, but flavorful. A bit like life--the good mixed in with a lot of hard work!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Come quickly Lord Jesus!

This Sunday our pastor asked us what would change in our lives if we knew Jesus was coming soon--tomorrow, next month, in two years. . .

He made a list of what that would mean to him and asked us to think about what it would mean to us.

Here’s my list:

* my sadness for the ‘bad’ in this life would be over

*I would “dwell in the house of the Lord forever”

*those who are currently not ‘paying attention’ to the things of God would PAY ATTENTION.

*those unsaved would perish

But wait, I don’t want those I love, or even those I just know casually, or anyone for that matter, to perish. So I guess it is with those in mind I write this post.

If God created the earth, and if evil and sadness have come into that earth so it is no longer the paradise God intended and if God in his mercy has made a way out from under that evil and a way to restore all things and if Jesus is who he claimed to be, “the Way, the Truth and the Life”

Then. . .

NONE need to perish! :-)

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” --II Peter 3:8&9

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” --I John 1:9

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

--Romans 10:13

That is Good News! Maranatha, come quickly Lord Jesus.