Saturday, May 28, 2011


For Easter we were invited to a Good Friday service.  The service was the joint effort of about six different churches in Brooke's Point.  Each church took a small part of the was a very long service!!  But so good to worship with believers here and see how they are all involved in reaching out to their community.

On Easter Sunday we were invited to join the same group of people for a potluck/day at the beach.  It was a beautiful day!  Steve and I visited, Ann Marie and Ethan hung out and chatted with the teens, and Tyler, Kailee, Alyssum, and Adams swam and played in the water all day!  Certainly a different sort of warm Easter for this Alaskan family who is used to cold Easter celebrations in the north!

In one of the boxes brought to us with our Alaskan visitors we received several egg dying kits.  The kids and I enjoyed making colorful egg creations!

Tyler's oven

Tyler, our engineer and survivalist, designed a small metal oven towards the end of last year.  He drew up his plans on paper and sent the design to Grandpa, the welder.  Grandpa told Tyler that he could easily make his oven and would send it in the next box coming our way!  The oven wasn't a necessity, but just something fun that Tyler created to do his own baking and fire building!  The box with the oven arrived just as we had to leave the island.

When we moved to Lada the house did not have a stove or an oven.  We purchased a two burner stove top, but didn't want to spend the money on a complete stove and oven.  So now Tyler's fun creation became a necessity!  Ethan and Tyler made a small house for his oven and straddled the oven across two bricks so that a fire could be built underneath.

Now we just needed some firewood or something to burn to raise the temperature in the oven high enough to be able to bake.  Steve found a small family store across the street from our house that sold bags of charcoal.  At only 10pesos(25cents) a bag it is very cheap to use!  With the charcoal the boys are able to get the temperature high enough and stays somewhat consistent for several hours as we do our baking.

We've had to be creative with our baking as a 9x9 pan is as big as it gets in this little oven!  So we make round loaves of bread, six small pizzas for our entire family, pans and pans of cookies, a small cake, or many pans of granola.  It is not difficult to do, but just takes a long time to get the job done!

Friday nights we make pizza and everyone REALLY appreciates the effort put into making these pizzas!  Ann Marie is making the dough for our pizza crust. And then Ethan and Tyler take turns keeping track of the pizza in the oven...we don't want it burnt! It sure tastes great when it is finished!

Life at Lada

Our adventures in the Philippines have taken a slight different course than we had expected.  Because of continued threats on our island we decided that until the situation changes we need to live elsewhere.  NTM has been gracious to allow us to stay at one of their flight bases in an empty house.  We are staying at the southern end of Palawan at Lada.  It is on the road system so we just take a four hour van ride from Puerto Princesa to reach our home. Brooke’s Point is the town very near our place and we can get just about any supplies we need there.  From here we can keep a close watch on what is happening on the island.
Being here at Lada has given us an opportunity to make up a lot of school that the kids had missed during our unexpected break.  We have had such a year of unexpected delays and breaks in our school year.  The kids have taken to the task of completing their school year now that we have settled for now.

The grassy airstrip provides a wonderful place for reading, inspirational writing, and a place to run and play. 
Steve is using the opportunity while we are here to increase his language skills in Tagalog.  He uses a computer course as well as conversing with local people in the market and elsewhere. 

The house here is a little run down, but liveable.  We’ve had to do a few repairs such as replacing the dining room posts and floor supports.  The wood was totally eaten by termites and ants.  Once it was torn apart we couldn't believe it could support any weight at all!  It is so nice to have a sturdy floor in the dining room as it is one of the most frequently used rooms in the house, for meals as well as school.
The kids are always so helpful with chores and easily settle into our normal routine no matter where we are staying!  For each meal I have two helpers-they help with meal preparation as well as doing dishes and cleaning up.  The same team of two will do breakfast for a week and then the crews rotate to helping with a different meal the next week.  Everyone washes their own dishes at each meal!  I love this picture of the kids all lined up ready to do their dishes!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Alyssum's Birthday

Alyssum turned 9 the beginning of April.  We celebrated with Uncle Randy, Aunt Marla, and cousins Nate, Anna, and Omega, and Uncle Dennis and Aunt Jeanie.  She had a cake decorated with Mentos and butterflies!  It was a fun party for a sweet girl!