Sunday, February 27, 2011

Good Post From Patrick

Please check out our family blog here. Patrick posted an excellent illustration that I love!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Busy March Ahead

God is so good! Our schedule is really filling up for the month of March. Patrick sent out letters to every church that we have been to, telling them our situation, and that we are so close to be ready to leave for the field. Praise God, we've had a couple of pastors called us to schedule meetings, one took us on for support, and Patrick has gotten a hold of a couple of new churches that have scheduled us also. Our month is booking up fast and we are so excited! We see God pulling everything together for our soon coming departure. We're praying for 10 churches to take us on for support, and we've seen one already!
Will you pray with me for 9 more?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Enjoying Fort Myers Sunset

We had a great time heading to the beach one evening for pizza and playing with our family! I know I've said this before, but I love the beach, love sunsets, love being with my family, then you add pizza to the mix? Wow! It was a great night! :o)

It was Callie Grace's first time to the beach. I can't believe it took us this long!

She loved it and was not afraid of the sand one bit.

Sweet Brenna helping Silas to the water.

My girls LOVE jumping in the waves. It was such a calm ocean! They loved it even more being able to jump waves with their cousins.

I love gorgeous Florida sunsets! It makes me wonder which side of the island I'll live on in St. Barths! Do I want to see the sunset or the sunrise? Even though either one would be great, I think I know the answer to that question! :o)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Waffle Scarf

When I went to visit Michigan I wanted to bring a gift for my Mam-maw and Robin. Since they live in the freezing cold, I decided to make a scarf for each of them. It crocheted up really quick!

So, here's the instructions: (In my limited crocheting vocabulary!:o)

Chain 20, turn, and single crochet in each chain. chain 3, turn. Then, double crochet, chain one, double crochet, chain one, until then end of the row. Then, turn and repeat. Do this until the scarf is the length you would like. The average scarf length is about 50 inches. Then, I tied 4 inch fringe to each end.

Super Easy! I used the homespun fabric that was on sale at JoAnns. Yay for sales! It turned out super soft and pretty lightweight.

I love to sit and crochet while spending time with my family. It's one of those crafts that you can do while visiting. HHMMM, I feel some more projects coming on!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Just a Thought

This morning as I was reading in my Bible, God gave me a little thought to ponder. He always gives me exactly what I need! I thought I would share it with you...

I'm always wondering about the next step, planning for the future, making my lists of goals (Is this a woman thing?). I KNOW God will provide for us. He always takes care of us. But, sometimes I wonder, "How is the Lord going to do it this time? How is He possibly going to meet this need?" Then, I began to think about the way it could happen. Maybe sometimes I even suggest to the Lord how He could do this thing for me. (Am I the only one who does this?) The Lord needing my help and suggestions? Pretty silly, huh?

Well, I read of another person with this same problem....Moses. In Numbers 11:18-23, then in 31-33 I read of the children of Isreal that began to complain and be sick of eating manna. Then, God told Moses He was going to provide meat for them to eat. They wouldn't just eat it one day, or two, but meat for a whole month until they were sick of it! Moses began to look around at the people. He noticed there were a bunch of them! Then, he began to wonder where all this meat was going to come from?! He asked God, are we going to have to kill all of our herds and flocks? Or are all the fish of the sea going to be gathered for them?

I love God's response! In verse 23 God answers Moses. "Is the Lord's hands waxed short?"

Hmm. That really pricked at my heart. I have some upcoming needs that I've posted about. I love to wonder and think of ways the Lord is going to provide. Then, sometimes I look at all of the circumstances and wonder "How is all of this going to work?" I need to remember, God's hand is still as strong as ever. He can and will provide for my every need. It's fun to dream and plan, but I need to remember God always provides, and it may just be in way I don't realize.

Patrick and I have been quoting this verse back and forth to one another during our whole "move to the mission field" time. Jeremiah 33:3 " Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." I'm so looking forward to seeing God provide and being able to see His mighty hand working for me!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Finally Recovering

I am so thankful that we are finally on the road to full recovery! The kids are coughing less and less and everyone seems to have their energy back! Patrick is still the furthest behind, but he said this morning he finally feels like he's coming out of the "fog." We started back to school on Thursday. We are quite behind. (Should I even mention that we just started our 2nd semester? oh dear.) So, I'm quite excited to just be "Mama" again. Nursing was never a field I was dying to get into!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Fun Challenge

My cutesy sis, Tay, is doing a fun little challenge over at her blog. I thought it would be great fun. So, I'm joining her! I need to come up with a fun date night clothing item (That means after I'm done we get to go out on a date! :o) All I can spend is $5. I can repurpose something I have, or I can go on a thrifting adventure. How fun! I think I have in mind what I'm going to use that I already have. I don't think (actually I know) that I don't have any purpose for the way it is now, so I'm off to the sewing machine!
Anyone want to join us?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

So, What's the Plan?

I've been meaning to write a post on our plan, since our housing situation didn't exactly happen the way we thought it would. God lets things come into our life, just when we need them, doesn't He? I haven't exactly had the time to worry and wonder why things aren't the way that I thought they should be. Instead, we've been dealing with a good dose of sickness in our family. The Sunday Night before Patrick came home, Elisabeth came home from church not feeling so great. I took her temp and it was 104.2. Yikes! By Monday morning every-single-one of my kiddos had high fevers and felt horrible. We had just about every symptom in the book, fever, nausea, coughing, soar throat, vomiting, head ache, body ache, joint ache, extreme fatigue...Did I leave anything out? It was absolutely horrible. I only had it Tuesday-Thursday, then I felt better, but everyone else has had it a little more long term. Even Patrick. Poor Baby. What a welcome home! Sunday I took all 5 kiddos to the doctor. I explained to the nurse that either we make 2 appointments, and I bring all 5 kiddos with me, or we just go ahead and make 5 appointments. (Our doctor's office has a policy of no more than 2 appointments in one family at a time) She made us all 5. Our diagnosis-everyone has a lower lung infection. Josh is the worse with Pneumonia. So, we went home with strong antibiotics and went back to bed. Patrick went to the doctor Monday and has a lung and sinus infection. Just like my husband to step it up a notch! :o)
So, instead of worrying and wondering, I've been doctoring and nursing the sick. Boy, am I pooped!

Our plan for now, after getting well of course, is this...Patrick is planning on calling every church we've been to that doesn't support us, try to personally speak with the pastor, tell him our situation, and try to raise the rest of our support. We're going to travel to as many churches as possible, to ones we've been to before, and to new ones, also. Please pray we can raise the rest of our support. We're praying for 10 more churches to take us on. Patrick and maybe even Joshua, are going to return to St. Barths in the middle of April and start house hunting again. It seems everything is pointing towards April for us to try and find a home. We're also praying the rest of our french paperwork will come in. It's sitting on the Magistrates desk now, just waiting for his signature!

So, our housing situation didn't exactly turn out the way we thought. Monday night, when I realized Patrick would be getting on a plane the next morning with no keys to a place for us, I began to worry. Then I heard a song that I have on my blog. "Is Anything too Hard for God?" God will provide us a place to live on the island He has called us too. I'm trusting in His timing. Patrick accomplished so much while he was there. He was able to witness and share the gospel with 4 precious people while he was there! It was so exciting! We learned more about laws and regulations concerning our move. We learned more about our needs for a car and what we need to look for. Patrick researched prices on different grocery items and we figured our some things that need to put in our container. So, was his trip in vain? Definitely not! It was a great trip that God had planned for Patrick to take. He planted many seeds and soon we will see the fruit of that trip. There is a reason for us still being here, and not in full fledged packing mode. God knows best, and before I realize it, I'll be in the place that God has called our family to.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Corkscrew Orange Grove

Another one of our adventures while Estelle was here.....Go Orange picking at an Orange Grove. My sister Tab found a great Orange Grove about 30 mins away. We drove and drove and went down roads I've never been down before. It was great! I love going off the beaten path! I think Orange Trees are some of the most beautifullest (is that a word?) trees. The trees at this grove were covered with lots of different kinds of oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit.
We all had a bucket on wheels and filled it to the brim with citrus for $11. Not bad!

With so many helpers, it didn't take us long to fill our bucket.

Logan loved helping Estelle fill her bucket. I could hear her sweetly talking to him telling him how to twist the fruit of so you won't hurt the branch. I think they both had a great time together.

It was great to have Estelle visit with us while Patrick was away. She is so helpful and so fun.
While we were at a homeschool park field trip, Estelle was pushing Callie in her stroller to help her get to sleep. She was pushing her stroller from the front so the sun wouldn't get in her eyes. One of the other mothers was watching how she was so helpful. She said, "I wish I had an Estelle!" It was a great week that just flew by! Praise the Lord for such wonderful friends!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Manatee Park

While Estelle was here, and while Patrick was away, I met two of my sisters at a local park here, called "Manatee Park". I LOVE this park! They had a great educational scavenger hunt for the kiddos. I love it when we can go have fun and call it a "fieldtrip!" :o)
It was a pretty sunny day. Isn't this sun hat just too adorable?

Sweet cousins playing on the fake alligator. My poor Josh turned the corner and thought it was real. ha!

Sillas is turning into a liitle bit of a copycat.

I know I've said this before, but I love the nature of Florida, especially the Spanish Moss! I loved how the 4 older girls gathered around this tree and had their picnic lunch together. I think they're treasuring their moments together.

I love fun, park, fieldtrip days!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's time to come back

Here is the update Patrick posted on our family blog last night:

I will leave out tomorrow to come back "home" (if you don't have your own place and live in someone else's house, is it really "your" home?) The past week has opened my eyes to many things:

1) This island is a depraved place and very far from the Lord. Sin has permeated every part of their culture and they have really no concept of what is right or wrong. Morals...what are morals?

2)They are a precious people who want to be loved and want to love on you. You are welcomed into their homes and they give you of what they have (mostly alcohol, but don't worry, I didn't indulge!) I can see from the look in their eyes, they want to know the truth, they want something that they can count on but Catholicism and false religion has ruined their wanting to trust in God or His Word. For instance, I met today the part time guitar player for the English speaking Anglican church today. Nice fellow, invited me to sit down with him for a beer! (Don't worry, I didn't indulge!) It may sound funny that I keep saying that "I didn't indulge" but when I say I do not drink alcohol, they look at me funny and I have had several tell me, "The priest drinks alcohol....or indulges!" After I mentioned that I do not drink alcohol, one man said to me,"That's the best thing you can do, never touch it the first time....." He had been drinking already this morning. It was as if he was amazed that alcohol had no power over me.

3) God wants to do some amazing things in people's lives here. I have had a few opportunities to present the plan of salvation and the love of God in its entirety. It is totally foreign to them, but the seed has been planted in several hearts already.

Well, the rest of the story is that we still have no house to live in. I did find one house today that I was really excited about it but after talking to the owner, it is way out of our price range at $4,080 per month. I have talked to so many people, combed the streets, put ads in the paper, made so many phone calls and had so many phone calls made for me. The prices are very expensive and most places are unavailable. But my God is great who shall supply all my needs! I will return to the states and plan out the next month. Please pray for our safety as we travel back tomorrow!

So, am I disappointed? I have to say yes. But, I know the Lord is faithful and His promises to supply my every need according to His riches is still true. We'll be on St. Barths soon, with this whole housing issue a thing of the past, but that's just not for this very moment. We'll be looking and waiting to see what the Lord will do in the next few days and weeks. Pray for Patrick and I to have wisdom of the right timing to move to the mission field God has called us to.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Poutine Night

My friend, Estelle, has been visiting with us while Patrick is away. She's been such a blessing to us!

We decided to have a Poutine Party while she was here. Poutine is an absolutely amazing dish that we would eat when we lived in Quebec. Totally bad for you, but amazingly good! It's french fries, with a gravy on top, and special Quebec cheese. Estelle, did the honor of frying the fries. She is french, you know. Who else could better fry fries? :o)
We invited my family over. They all brought over wonderful food to go with the Poutine.
I'm not sure how many plates Joshua had, but he was pretty sick and stuffed feeling afterwards!
Even William and Jonathan loved it, although, Jonathan didn't exactly follow the instructions!
Lots of cousins, makes a great party!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Callie Grace 9 Months Old

Happy 9 Month Birthday Callie Grace

Sweet Callie is growing up so much. A few family members claim she has taken her first step, but until I see it, it doesn't count! :o) She babbles and tries to talk, but still hasn't said Mama:o( She plays patty cake (I love it!) and peek-a-boo (except she usually covers her ears, not her eyes) She loves to eat and move all around, and still gets lots of attention from all of us!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Another update from Patrick

Update on search for a house...

Well, the house that we had a lead on and really fell in love with is now out of the running. The owner emailed back and said that he wanted 5,000 Euros per month ($7,000 U.S.) plus we would pay for the electricity and all repairs. The house was in very bad shape and the electricity didn't work through out the house. He also explained to me that the electricity would go off in heavy rain. I am still in shock that he wants this amount of money per month!

I traveled around the island today and stopped and asked different people about places to rent. Several people took my phone number and said they would look around for me. One lady had a place to rent but it would not be available for several months.

I did look at a 2 bedroom house this evening that is being renovated. We could make it work but it would be a tight fit for 5 of our children in one bedroom. The price is 2,000 Euros per month ($2,800 U.S.). We would be responsible for electricity and water if the cistern runs dry. The location is not the best and I am told in heavy rains, the road floods and we would need a boat. (I think he was kidding about the boat! least I hope....)

Please be in fervent prayer for us about this matter. This is a heavy burden on our hearts.

The good thing is that I have had a lot of practice using my French today and everyone I talked to said my French was excellent. It gave me a boost of confidence although I still have a ways to go in being able to understand their Patois and Creole!

Update from the West Indies

Here's the latest Update from Patrick on our familyblog:

Update from the West Indies

After traveling from 4 AM to 7 PM on Monday, I finally arrived here on St. Barths. The weather is nice and cool and the ocean breeze is fabulous!

I thought I would list a few things that transpired thus far to keep you updated:

1. The search for a house is slow, but we have one that I have looked at and is very workable. The kitchen is outdoors and you have to go outside to get to each bedroom. I am waiting for the owner to email me back to find out how much he wants for rent. Please be in prayer for this matter as this house would fit our every need......including two golden retrievers that live there! (Do the dogs speak french?)

2. I understand a good bit of french and am able to communicate slowly as I still have to process the words in my head. However, most people here when they speak, use a Creole/ Patois. I cannot understand any when they speak like this. To understand what it is like, just picture someone who just learned some English trying to understand a Redneck. (ie: Whutcha havin' = What you going to order?) There is a French way to say a word or phrase, a Creole way, and a Patois way. Then they mix the three languages when they speak!

3. Yesterday morning I was overwhelmed as I looked from the hillside where I am staying out over the houses and homes below. I was overwhelmed at the fact that God has given to me, this island. The responsibility of reaching a people who have no desire to know him. I said to myself, "I can't do this.....they won't listen to me......" Then last night, God gave me exactly what I needed. As my mom and I visited with one of my aunt's and uncles, they asked about me being a Baptist preacher. (Everyone here has been taught that Baptists believe in some strange false god). They began to ask questions about Christ, how to get salvation, praying to Mary, and about the repetitive prayers that they pray from their Catholic book of prayers. We spent over an hour giving them the Gospel and the truth from the Word of God. They listened with intent, and my aunt began to cry as the truth began to open her eyes. This is totally foreign to them and it will take time, but God showed me that there are some who are willing to listen and there are some who are going to trust in Him. It was a victory not only for them, but also for me.

Thank you Lord......

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Her look has changed a little

When we first arrived in florida, I took Elisabeth to the Pediatrician for her Sinus problems. She ,was then referred to an Ear Nose and Throat Doctor, who then referred us to an Orthodontist. She has very narrow nasal passages, and the doctors wanted to widen her palate and put on braces. So, after much other work and appliances in her mouth, it was finally the day to get on her actualy braces. She was a little nervous, but just like her other appointments, she did very well. I'm so proud of her! She looks so beautiful!