Sunday, October 30, 2011

Jon Felipe's Birthday

My parents drove out to Iowa for the weekend to help us celebrate Jon Felipe's birthday. Unfortunately, they both came down with colds on the day they drove out here so they weren't feeling their best. Still, it was so nice to see them, even if it was only for a short visit. Several months ago, they had made a promise to Jon Felipe that they would come out for his birthday and he had been counting the days. He would have been so disappointed if they hadn't been able to make it. So, I'm glad they made it for his sake, but I'm also glad they made it for my sake. I miss them. I wish we didn't live so far away. I wish I could see them more often. I wish I could just drop by their house for a quick visit and a cup of tea. Talking on the phone is good, but it's not quite the same. Thanks Mom and Dad for making the long drive to see us!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Host Family

This year we signed up to be a host family for international students at Dordt. We were matched up with these two sweet girls. Chan is from Korea and Aziel is from Mexico. There was an organized host family get together in September and the plan is that we will continue to do things with our host students about once a month or so for the rest of the school year. Today Aziel and Chan came over for Sunday dinner after church. Then we made sugar cookies and decorated them. They enjoyed doing this and were pleased to be able to take the cookies back to campus to share with their roommates. We look forward to getting to know them better over the course of the year.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The fall weather has been beautiful here. Last weekend we headed out to the Dordt farm to get some pumpkins. Don't you wish your place of work had a farm with a pumpkin patch?

Monday, October 17, 2011


Do you think maybe they missed me just a bit? Thank you all for your prayers for my family while I was gone. They did great!

Friday, October 14, 2011


I am grateful to be home! Travel did not go as smoothly as could be desired (true for both the trip there and the trip home) and my luggage is in Houston somewhere, but I got to hug my children tonight. What a blessing! I will post more about my trip in the next couple days.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nicaragua Conference Pictures

As promised, here are some pictures from the workshop. Thank you again for your prayers. The workshops were very well received. The director of a Christian school association here in Nicaragua attended the workshops along with several facilitators from his schools. He oversees more than 100 Christian schools here. The facilitators will take these ideas back to their schools. He asked if I could try to find a way to come back and do follow-up workshops that his teachers could attend, so perhaps I will have the opportunity to return to Nicaragua in the future. The teachers at the workshops told us how grateful they were to get this information and to have ideas that they could take back to their classrooms and put in place right away.

With all the rain, we are having internet issues so this all for now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nica Blessings

It has been such a blessing to be here in Nicaragua. This is how we spent our evening yesterday - sitting on the porch (there is a roof so we were protected from the rain) and singing. Wendy's father is a pastor and they had a church event last night, but they were unable to get to their church because all the rain had caused a rock slide closing the road they needed to take. That meant that Wendy's parents were able to spend the evening with us. Some other family members also came over to see Wendy. It was such a nice, relaxed evening and a blessing to be able share this time with this family.

Thank you for your prayers for this time. The workshops have gone amazingly well and the rain has not kept people from being able to attend. I will post pictures later. My family is doing well without me. I have slept well and eaten very very well. Once again, I have to say that I am so blessed to have the opportunity to be here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nica Tuesday

Between travel snafus and weather, it feels like circumstances are trying to keep us from hosting these workshops, but we are here and the workshops are happening. It is raining and raining and raining here. Apparently, in addition to it being rainy season, we are having a tropical storm. Think water, water everywhere. There is water coming in the house. The yard and roads are flooded. Some of the schools were closed today and participants had a difficult time getting to the workshop, but they came anyway. Some participants came all the way from Granada. We are safe and well. We are praying that things will not get worse so that people can get to the workshop tomorrow.

My camera is being difficult (maybe it is too humid here?) so this is the best I can do for pictures. I am staying with the family of my student Wendy and I took these pictures after dinner tonight. I have felt so welcome and comfortable here and am very thankful to be able to stay here. Despite everything, it is a great experience to be here.

This is Wendy's youngest brother. You can just see that he is full of energy. He and Jon Felipe would have a great time together.

This is Alex. She is also visiting this week and is staying here. She is helping out at Tesoros de Dios while the teachers attend the conference.

This is Nanna. She keeps us well fed. I have had homemade tortillas at every meal since I got here. Yum!

This is Wendy.

This is Sarah. She is staying here as well. She is from Michigan and went to Calvin. Turns out that she is a friend of my son Colin. How cool is that!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Treatment Day

Today was treatment day at our house. That was a good thing, because Maria was definitely in need of "juicing up." This switch back to warm weather has been hard on her. The nurse comes in the morning about the time Jon Felipe gets on the bus and leaves just as he's getting home from school. Currently, Maria is getting her IVIG treatment every three weeks.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Musings - Oct. 3

We have some friends here in Sioux Center who let us just show up at their house and play with their kids' toys. Sometimes their boys come out and play with us, which makes it all even more fun. My two youngest particularly love jumping on the trampoline. We are even thinking about buying one. We worry about injuries and about liability as well since we don't have a fenced yard. We rent one side of a duplex, so fencing the yard isn't really an option. When we lived in Michigan, we had a great jungle gym in the backyard and a pool. Here, we don't even have trees in the yard. What do you think? Is a trampoline a good investment for our family or are we just inviting trouble?

Sunday, October 2, 2011


This FFA (Future Farmers of America) field is right across the street from our house. This year they planted corn.

The other nearby fields were planted in soybeans. Think about what this farmer is spreading on this field. Hint: It isn't plain old dirt!

Think of all this "dust" drifting over this field and into my house.

Is it no wonder that Sioux Center is the dustiest place I've lived.

Fall in Iowa is beautiful. I love seeing all the shades of gold in the fields. I think I'll keep my windows closed, though.