Sunday, September 30, 2012

peach p-aaaaaaahhhhhhhh-ie

Here's what I was talking about.
taken by sherri
with iphone
using instagram

(Pretty sure I'll get addicted to instagram if I ever get started.....)

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Got up at 4:30 a.m., drove in a car to the airport, flew on three flights, rode on a sky train, took a sea bus (see below), got picked up by another car and arrived at Mark and Sherri's at 11:30 (1:30 Quito time).  Whew!

And today I sat on a dock/wharf, drank hot chocolate, had a "coffee bun" and 
 looked at the view.
 I bought some peaches and coveted over some very pricey raspberries.
 I also spent a great deal of the time kicking myself for not bringing a good camera.  I brought our little piece of poop snap and shoot - it doesn't even focus half of the time..... like this photo of amazing raspberries, for example.  Sheesh.
Right now I have a peach pie in Sherri's over.  It is smelling like a little piece of heaven.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

projects finally done

A week or two before I starting work, I finished some projects that I had in the works for a very long time.  The first one is some light fixtures I made for the dining room. 

Actually, I had actually finished them a long time ago but just hadn't put them up.  The main reason was that with the amount of light bulbs we have burned out while we've lived here, I knew the dining room ones had to go soon.... I didn't want to put them up only to have to take them off shortly thereafter to change the light bulb.  But I finally got impatient and did it.
Two weeks later, one light bulb burned out.
I kid you not.
At first when I hung on, I thought it didn't look so good, but once I got the other on up, I loved it.  They  add some class, whimsy and character to the room.
I knew what I wanted - had an idea in my head of how they should look - so I just had to come up with a way to make them.  They are made from embroidery hoops, clear thick plastic sheets, a little bit of white paint, wire and plastic bobbles that I bought on clearance after Christmas about 7 years ago (yes, I did haul them all the way here....)
The second project was started in January when I drew out letters and asked Marlo to cut them out of plywood for me.  The problem with this idea was that I needed to collect pennies - lots and lots of pennies - almost 900 pennies, in fact.
Marlo kindly cut the letters, I stained them and then I waited and waited while gathering all the coins.  When I finally had enough (almost enough - I still need 22 pennies that will get attached as I collect them!), I separated them into four piles according to how new and old looking they were.  I accordance with the word FADE, they started bright and shiny on top and gradually faded into dull, dirty pennies.

This "art piece", if I may call it that, is to remind us that material things do just that - they fade.  They don't last.  Everything might start nice, beautiful and seemingly perfect but they will always, eventually fade and deteriorate.  The only thing - the ONLY thing - that lasts is God, His Word and His promises. Everything else will wither, fade, and eventually become nothing - only God is eternal.  And better than that, He is eternally Good.

fresh air, fears and faith

Lately the whole "living in the big city" has been loosing its luster.  Okay, it never really had any at all, in my books.  I really can't stand the city except to maybe visit one (preferably a relatively clean one - which Quito is not) on occasion.  But God brought us here to a very loud, very dirty city.  I've been amazed at how well I've done living here - only by the grace of God, believe me!  As I said, however, I'm starting to fade.  I need to do some heavy relying on God to keep me going.

I miss nature.  I miss the quiet.  And I really miss fresh air.

The other day at work I was painting a big map (I'll probably take a picture and put it on here later) for one of our chapels (and now will be some art work in our office) and it was kind of stinky.  I was so looking forward to going outside and getting some fresh air.  Fresh air never came.  It is a very smoggy city - lots of diesel vehicles, lots of people burning stuff.... fresh air is hard to come by.

I'm also missing moisture.  We haven't had rain in forever and that, combined with the altitude, makes things very very dry.  The kids are all chapped and itchy.  I'm all chapped and itchy.  This may be the first time in my life when I actually want to drink my "needed" 8 glass of water a day - I feel parched all the time.  The upside is that maybe in this time of dryness it will become a habit and then I'll just keep on drinking even when I am not so desperate!

The dryness is reeking havoc with fires though.  We have had a lot of fires lately.  A lot.  And there has been a lot of smoke in the air (adding to the lack of fresh air).  The upside of this (look at me - first whining and complaining but then seeing the positive.....) is that since there is so little nature here and so much concrete, there isn't much to burn.   The fires don't seem to last long.  I guess it is all just a circle of things looking negative and turning into something positive.  Or something like that.

All of this is affecting one of the kids much more than the others.  A precious little heart.  First, she gets chapped the worst - really rough dry hands and patches on her sweet face.  Second, and much more heart-wrenching, is that fear has overtaken her lately.  Seeing the smoke billows so often, smelling the fire in the air is causing a lot of anxiety and accompanying stomach aches.

Again we are praying that God works these fears into faith.  Many times I have prayed that prayer and many times I will continue to pray.  Good thing that God is the inventor of taking the negative and turning it into something positive.  I anticipate what He will spin in her.

Monday, September 10, 2012

family photos

Sorry - not our family photos!  But they are photos of our friends.  We have been blessed to get to know the Altlands - a family that came here almost a year ago.  Their middle daughter is one of Lucy's best friends and now their family is one of our best families (um......  they are close friends....).
They are getting ready to be one of many families with three girls and one boy and wanted a few family shots done to record the pregnancy and all that good stuff.
A very photogenic family, I must say.  I really didn't have to do much - they are all beautiful!

 We made it a family affair (minus Maddy) so the kids could play once they were done with the photos.  They had a good time exploring and getting very very dirty.  It has been very dry here - no rain for ever - and they were kicking up plenty of dust storms.

The dad wasn't exactly elated over doing family photos.  I mean, he did well and all - he tolerated the time and even produced nice, happy smiles, but the guy was pretty happy when it was over.
Perhaps this photo captures it best:

random kid stuff

There are still several posts that are waiting to be written.   The photos are all loaded and ready to go. While the kids are back in school, I still am going to make them write one more each.  I was way, way too slack and didn't follow up on the writing.  Then I starting working earlier than I anticipated so my plans to sit them down and get them to blog had to be postponed.  But mark my words..... they are coming!
There is not much to say about the following photos, but they are all rather entertaining to me.  Perhaps they will be entertaining to you.  If they aren't, look at them anyway.  There are some really cute kids in the pictures - they are worth a good look!

Maddy's knee..... I felt artistic one day and drew some lips.  Then they got hungry....

Lucy and her creative side.....  Need I say more?
Not sure why I don't have any whacky pictures of Mia.  Believe me, she can be whacky.  Somehow she must have avoided the camera.  Don't worry, I'll get her yet!

back at school

It's been one week of being a freshman
 second grader
 a very grumpy guy
 and a sixth grader.
 Oh yeah, the grumpy guy is also a third grader.

 You may have inferred from these photos that the boy isn't very excited.
Someone else was.....
 And Mia just tolerated.....
It was a pretty tough start for a few.  The first day of school for the kids consisted of Cade's teacher finding me in my office (yes, working at the school now..... that is another whole post for another whole day) and telling me that Cade was in tears most of the morning.  She asked if she could tell him that I would have lunch with him.
His teacher is wonderful, but he had hoped for the other third grade teacher whom he had in first grade.  Familiarity.  That helps him a lot.  Unfortunately, he didn't get her.  Then he also discovered the reality of not being in the same class as his best friend.  Cade doesn't have heaps of close friends.  He has his best buddy and that is pretty much all he needs and wants.
Well, I walk into the lunch room and before I can spot Cade, Lucy spots me.  She is bawling.  She says she has a terrible stomach ache and needs to go home.  I convince her to tough it out but find out later (after I didn't hear about 4 phone calls from the nurse's office) that Eric took her home.  Between the two of them, it was a fabulous start to a new school year!
The good news is that Lucy fully recovered by the time Eric picked us all up from school - by fully I mean she was bouncing off the walls of the car and now, a week later, Cade seems to be doing marvelously well.  I'm sure if we asked him, he would say he was miserable, but we don't ask and let his smiles speak for themselves!

By the way, Maddy is in high school.
Let me say that again:  Maddy is in high school.
Yup, that is how I feel too.

Oh, and next year?  Mia will be in middle school.
The end of the world (at least mine) must be near.