"I want to be like that"

Our family traveled this weekend and stayed with a very special family for two nights.  They offered to host us and from the moment we walked in their door on Friday night we were welcomed with open arms.  It is no easy thing to host a family whom you’ve never met with four little kids.  The kids immediately dove into the totes of toys they had waiting for them and spent every free moment playing with little playmoblie people in a four story play house they had.

They spoiled us rotten with delicious meals, gifted us with boxes of classic books and school supplies, loaned us their GPS for the rest of our time here in Canada and listened patiently as we rambled on and on about ourselves ad nauseum.  

After we got back home tonight the girls discovered a bag of playmobile people and furniture that they sent home with us.

“They are sooooooooooooooooooo sweet!” Winnie exclaimed over and over.  “I want to be like that,” she said.

So do I, Winnie.  So do I.


Training Update

It has been awhile since I’ve posted an update about our training. It is hard to believe, but we are almost finished! Our graduation is on Saturday, May 30th.

The last few weeks have been spent writing cultural papers on the village simulation class we were involved in. Right now we are having a four day refresher on Church Planting. Our trainers who taught us all last year are taking turns bringing the big picture of what this is all about to the forefront of our minds once more before we all part ways.

In the next two weeks we will be making ministry presentations to our classmates. It will be good practice for future use and will also be a chance to experience all the nervousness involved in doing such things!

It has been such a joy and privilege to spend these last two years here at the training center. I feel so blessed to have met so many precious people who have impacted my life in incredible ways.

Yesterday was a pretty fun day for our family. In the morning Dennis suddenly decided that we should go and check out a conservation area nearby. So we packed up the girls and the bug spray and headed out. We ended up in what we thought was the conservation area but turned out to be just a fire access road that bordered the real conservation area. Oh well, it was fun anyway. We walked a trail and on the road. Winnie does better on the road when she’s “hiking” since her feet are the size of postage stamps.

We were treated to all sorts of sights in God’s green creation. We saw four snakes (or maybe just one really fast guy?), lots of cool bugs including a shiny blueblack beetle that we trapped for 2 minutes in Squeaky’s habitat until he Houdini-ed out of there, and many swarms of blackflies that apparently are just swarming and not biting yet.
Do you see the guy in this picture?

Then last night we went to our last class social held at a dam close to here. It was a gorgeous evening with a perfect breeze and warm sun. We all had a picnic supper together and talked while the kids played. Then we headed over to a local ice cream shop for cones.

Goodbyes are hard to do…

Yesterday was our final day of the Hungarian practicum. We’ve been working very hard over the past two months and now have over 200 words in our vocabulary! But more than that, we also have two new friends. Elmer and Olga were a delight. Elmer entertained us with story after story from his amazing store of knowledge that he’s gained over the years. Olga’s dry sense of humor had us laughing so hard we cried. It was so exciting to see our friendship develop over the two months. At first I was all nervous and on my best behavior around them. As we got to know them we all loosened up a little bit and while I didn’t display my worst behavior it is fair to say that we were all able to be very real with one another. I’m so glad we had the opportunity to work with them, and since they live here in town I think they can probably expect to see us knocking at their door quite a bit for the next 5 months.

Semester Gone

This was our last day of class for this semester. It is hard to believe. We had a little pizza party today before we all go our separate ways for Christmas. We also managed to get a picture of our entire class together for the first time! Look at all those kids!

Tuesday night was our Christmas party. For this one we had a babysitter come over and watch the girls. A fun gift exchange was the event of the evening, after eating festive finger foods, of course! Dennis got some chocolate and I received flavored ground coffee~ yum!

Packing up

Our house looks like a disaster zone! There are boxes and bags everywhere! Every day we pull out more things that either get packed away or just end up laying around awaiting future attention. Will someone please bring some order to this chaos?!? So far we’ve managed to clean out a several closets and cupboards. The garage sale pile is growing quickly.

On a different note, this past weekend we went up to visit Gramma and Grampa Easton. Dennis was speaking at L’Amable so it was a good chance to get a visit in. They also kept the girls for this past Monday and Tuesday so we could work on packing. Boy, it was so quiet around here with just Winnie for those two days! I found that I really missed their busyness and cuddles. 🙂

Tonight we met up with some friends (Fergusons and Gilberts) at the local kid “splash pad”. It is a place where water shoots out from different places and in fountains, etc. Surprisingly, Squeaky was thrilled and really enjoyed it while Button was more hesitant. I expected it to be the other way around. Afterward we had planned to have a little hotdog bbq and picnic. We were surprised to find that more of our friends had been invited to come as a surprise! So thanks, Brad, Tanya, Kelly, Andrea, Jenn, Jordan, Caleb, Megan, Andy and Bill! It was fun. Unfortunately I forgot our camera!!!!

Last Graphite Retreat

This week is a busy one! Tuesday through Thursday were spent up at Graphite for the year end retreat for the Bible College. It was fun to relax a little and let the students play with the kids. Thanks guys, if any of you read this. 🙂

Tonight is Dennis’ graduation banquet at Heritage Seminary. The graduation itself is tomorrow, but we can’t make it. So we plan to go tonight and take the baby with us. Our sitter for the evening got sick, but thankfully the Lord has provided some friends to watch the girls. It looks like it will be a late night.

Tomorrow is KLBC graduation. I don’t know when we’ve experienced a more hectic semester than this last one. In many ways the graduation is bitter-sweet for us as well as the students. We are so relieved to have the frenzy of the school year over (both college and seminary studies) but at the same time we realize that this is our last KLBC graduation and that many things will be changing in the next few months. Many of you already know our plans for next fall, and if you don’t I will undoubtedly be blogging about it soon.

Enjoy the pics! This last one is for you Mom VE- Squeaky opening her birthday present from you, right after we talked to you on the phone.