Presenting… the last 7 months in a nutshell.

Since my last post…

This new little guy (let’s call him the Bear) was born on October 31, 2013…

…and has grown into a chubby, smiley 4 month old boy!

We enjoyed this crowded, city view for 4 months…

…and have now exchanged it for a more rustic one.

In January we finally moved in to our little house in the village, tucked away in a remote corner of the world.

We’re excited to look back and see how God has led us to this point, and look ahead confidently as we know He goes before us too!  We hope to share some of our adventures in our new home and community with you soon.

B is for Bee and Button

I don’t know if I’m breaking any sort of rule by picking two words for letter B, but on this day I just have to.  B is for Bee and Button.


For the past two years Dennis’ sister, Bee, has been living here in the Philippines with us, homeschooling our children while we studied Tagalog.  She has become a huge part of our lives.  We just got back from taking her to the airport for her flight back to Canada.  Our house is going to feel awfully empty without Bee and Button is the one who is taking it the hardest.
It is interesting to watch our girls’ reactions to her departure.  Squeaky confessed, “I’m sad, but I just don’t feel like crying!  I don’t know why, but I don’t.  I’m sorry!”  Winnie has been mourning for about three weeks now and stood numb while her Aunt Bee gave her her last hugs and kisses.  Button shed a lot of tears.
After we got back home they all went into Aunt Bee’s old room.  Winnie hopped up on her bed and crowed, “Look!!!  I’m in Aunt Bee’s room!!!” with a huge smile on her face.  Squeaky opened all her cupboards to make sure she hadn’t forgotten anything.  Button burst into tears at the sight of the empty room.  She immediately noticed that Aunt Bee had left behind a few stickers that were on the bed post.  “Mommy,” her voice quavered, “this makes me really, really sad.  Someone gave those to Aunt Bee and she left them here!”

9th Anniversary

Dennis took me out for our anniversary last night. We went to a Greek restaurant and had gyros and Greek salad. So delicious. Afterward, we wandered around the mall and enjoyed a Wendy’s frosty and a Jollibee dipped cone. Jollibee is the equivalant of McDonald’s here in popularity. They have McDonald’s too, but Jollibee is even more popular. They serve burgers, fried chicken and rice as well as some uniquely Filipino cuisine- fast food style.
After having our ice cream, we went to an interesting yet somewhat bizarre 3D movie about fighting owls and a lute. The pop and popcorn came with our tickets, but we were pretty full by then and brought a lot of popcorn home.
Thanks for the fun date, Dennis. I’m so glad you are my husband!

Moving and Staying and Surprises

On January 21 we got the email we were waiting for! We are officially accepted by New Tribes Mission of the Philippines. We began working even more earnestly to sort, pack and make decisions. We started getting quotes on flights. We rejoiced with a wonderful turkey dinner.

That weekend we went to Dennis’ brother’s place. Dennis was speaking at their church on Sunday the 24th and we celebrated Button’s 4th birthday with her aunt, uncle and cousins. We had a great time.

We returned home on Monday night. On Tuesday morning Dennis’ dad had a mild heart attack. We actually didn’t find out that it was a heart attack until Tuesday evening. He was taken to Kingston that evening. The next day they did an angiogram and discovered that he had some blockages in the arteries of his heart. On Friday he had triple by-pass surgery. He is doing well and was up and walking today. He will likely be coming home either this Wed. or Thursday. We’d appreciate your prayers.
We’ve seen God’s grace through it all. All along we had been thinking we’d like to leave in January for the Philippines and couldn’t figure out why all the steps seemed to be taking so long. We see that God allowed us to be here for this time and we are so grateful. We are so glad to be able to spend this time with Dennis’ parents and hope that our presence will be helpful (and not too noisy!) over the next few weeks as Roger is recovering.

Birthday

On December 30th I turned 30. I can clearly remember thinking that 30 was old in my childhood. Thirty is right up there with “maybe 55? 80? 103?” in those guess-my-age games that adults like to play with kids. Birthdays like that make you think. What have I done in the past thirty years? What do the coming years hold?
By God’s grace, the past decade has been a time of incredible growth in my life. I’ve seen the brevity of life and the faithfulness of God in a whole new light. I’ve learned a lot about my own sinful heart and the process of santification. I got married, had three children, two miscarriages, moved 9 times, lived in 4 towns, made many new friends and lost a few.
God is faithful. The Psalms include many reflections on the past and the evident faithfulness of God. Psalm 107 offers a synopsis of God’s work on the behalf of men in the past.
Verse 43 sums it all up:
“Whoever is wise, let him heed these things
and consider the great love of the LORD.”
So I’ve been spending a little time thinking about God’s faithfulness in the past and the surety of His faithfulness in the future.
I’m not scared of being thirty!

Squeaky’s Big Day

About a year ago we hatched an idea: what if Squeaky were to go to kindergarten for a few months while we prepared to leave for the Philippines? After praying and talking to several people about it we decided to enroll her in kindergarten at the local elementary school here in town.

Last Wednesday was her first day. I’m not sure if we’ve ever seen her so excited. She had her new little backpack, a new outfit, a new lunch bag with glittery butterflies on it, and her little epi-pen in a case pinned in her backpack. She was so thrilled about this new experience, I wasn’t sure if she was going to sleep the night before!

I think she did. Her bedroom is right above ours, and around 7am I heard a little shout of exclamation from her room and a squeal of laughter as she remembered what day it was.

After breakfast she got her little purple backpack on and gave everybody hugs.

Button seemed a little sad to be losing her best friend for the day. I promised her that when Squeaky went to school I’d do “school” with her at home. She was pretty excited about that. She got a new little backpack too, and Daddy bought her her very own pencil case with Dora pencils and erasers inside.
Does Winnie look sad? She isn’t. She had just crawled out of bed and wasn’t really sure what was going on.Here is our excited little girl!

In all the hustle I didn’t get a good picture of the bus.


After seeing Squeaky onto the bus, Dennis and I hopped in the car with our camera and zoomed to town. We meet her getting off her bus and this was the smile she gave us when she saw that we were there. We stuck around for awhile at a distance and saw that she enjoyed playing in the sand and dutifully came running with all the other kindergartners when the school bell rang. I don’t think she really knew what the bell was for, but she sure ran!

She came home tired but had had a wonderful day. Her next school day is Tuesday the 7th because of Labor Day. She has been praying each night that she would be able to go to school every day like the big kids, even though she knows that kindergarten is every other day.

We are excited for our sweet little girl and pray that she will be a little light for the Lord at her school.