Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Philippines

On January 11 we will be getting on a plane to fly across the ocean to the Philippine islands for a 3 month short term mission trip as a family.

...Almost seven years ago we were in Hanoi, Vietnam for three weeks adopting our sweet baby girl. We loved our time in Vietnam and while we were there a dream started of doing short term missions during Steve's off season. Now seven years, many trips around the world to Vietnam, Korea, and Sierra Leone, and four adoptions later we are finally realizing this dream.

Back then we thought "someday when the kids are grown and gone" we will go on a short term mission trip...but God had other plans. This past year we began to feel differently about taking our family on a mission trip and decided to take a step of faith in that direction.

Our goals for our trip:
--Educate our family about what God is doing in another part of the world
--Learn that life is not just about us and the latest toys and fashions
--Learn about and see examples of Christians serving others
--Practice serving others together as a family
--Bring back what we learned

Are we ready for this task? We are willing to have God use us any way He chooses.

We will start our adventure (as we like to call it) with a long airplane ride across the Pacific Ocean with only one stopover before we land in Manila, but then we will get aboard another plane that will take us to Davao. Manila is the largest city in the Philippines located on the island of Luzon; Davao is the next largest city located on the southern end of the island of Mindanao.

Davao is where our friends Joe and Jennifer Germain now call home as Jennifer attends New Life International School of Midwifery. We will be spending about 7 weeks with them. During our time there we plan to get involved in various mission opportunities both in Davao and outside the city in Malaybalay. Our goal though is to see what God is doing in the lives of our friends and other missionaries as they serve in Davao, and to hopefully be an encouragement to them.

From Davao we will go back to Manila around the first of March to catch up with Randy and Marla Weisser (Stacey's aunt and uncle) and Paula Haunschild, to see what they are involved in and get a small taste of what it is like living in the Philippines.

We have made a contact for our time in both Davao and Manila to be involved in a Children's Home which is one of our big areas of interest. At the Children's Home in Manila we will be organizing and leading a 5 day VBS for about 70 kids! We are planning and preparing now for what we will need to pull that off!! If you would like to see where we will be helping out you can go to

We are all very excited about our upcoming adventure together as a family! We would love for you to come along side us with your prayers as we embark on this journey.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Adams!

Adams is a big 5 year old now!! He is so excited to finally be 5! He is always hoping he will catch up with Alyssum, but she always seems to have her next birthday first! (Alyssum is already 5, but her birthday is not until April so they stay the same age for about 6 months! The competition is fierce!) Adams wants to be a cowboy and is always dressing up and pretending to be a cowboy...his older brothers and sisters saw the cowboy set at the store and decided that must be what he needed for his was not so sure, but obviously gave in! :) I made him a horse cake for his birthday since cowboys and horses go together. We had fun celebrating with family for his birthday.

Can't believe Adams is 5...seems like it wasn't too long ago he was a small baby in Sierra Leone and we only knew about from pictures and the reports we got. So much has changed and how he has grown! Adams did get a special phone call on his birthday from his extended family in Sierra Leone. They were so excited to be able to wish him a Happy Birthday! He enjoyed talking on the phone although I
wonder how much was really understood by everyone! We are so thankful for family and friends that have cared for and continue to love our special little boy!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Fall Time...

Okay, now that a new post is loooong overdue thought I better update everyone on what our busy family has been up to recently! During the 3rd week in September Ann Marie got to go with Grandma to Ten Sleep, Wyoming to visit great-Grandma and Bob. They live in a very small town in Wyoming that at one time was "ten sleeps" from the next town...or at least that's the way the Indians said it. So now it was Ann Marie's turn to go with Grandma on the trip to visit, so that means that all our kids except for Adams have gone to Wyoming. Although Kailee and Alyssum aren't so sure that is a fair statement since they were 2 and 1 years old when they went and they don't really remember! (Grandma didn't take them went too!) Ethan and Tyler got to go a couple years ago with both Grandma and Grandpa. So some of the highlights of the trip to Ten Sleep are going to the Hot Springs to swim in the really warm pool, going to the dinosaur museum, and wandering around Dirty Sally's to see what treasures you might find and then of course getting a Huckleberry shake!! Dirty Sally's is a gift shop with a little bit of everything for everyone and the kids just love to look around in the store...especially with a name like Dirty Sally!! Ann Marie really enjoyed her time with Grandma and getting to meet great-Grandma and Bob too. Now she too can share in the funny stories and memories of going to Ten Sleep, Wyoming!

So let's see what else have we been up to lately...well, I guess probably school, school, and more school! It feels like our heads are buried in school all week and we finally get to come up for air on Friday night!! Everyone is doing well and really enjoying school so far this year! Steve has been really busy himself with switching gears from mowing and landscaping to winter lighting...he doesn't get a break in between. The crews have already started putting up the white lights as the days get shorter and darker.

We have had a rather long warm fall and this last week we saw our first really cold nights with a killing frost. The trees have beautiful red and yellow leaves and we are certainly enjoying the fall colors. With the cold brings snow on the mountain tops across the bay and we watch them closely as the snow gets further and further down the mountains...soon it will be leaving a white dusting on our side of the bay. With our thoughts turning to snow we then have to get busy to get the yard cleaned up for winter...wouldn't want all that stuff buried under the snow because then it really isn't much fun trying to find it in the middle
of the winter! So today we spent the day cleaning up the yard, organizing the shed, winterizing the motor home, digging potatoes, and making jam...sounds like a good fall day!!

This week we also celebrated Ethan's 12th birthday!! (He is counting the days of the 2 years he has left before he can get his driver's permit!!) No, not really, but he really can't wait until he is 14, and 12 is certainly alot closer!! Can't believe my baby is 12 where did the years go? Now don't tell him I said that! He is getting tall and growing into quite the young man. It is so neat to see his relationship with Jesus grow into his own personal relationship with Him, and growing in love and understanding. Ethan is such a great big brother to all his younger brothers and sisters and gets along great with all of them. He also has a great relationship with his older sister and it is so fun to see them laugh and have fun together!

So I think that's it for now!! I will try to do a better job on at least posting weekly, but no promises!! Thanks for checking in to see what we are up to.