Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Search for Thanksgiving

This year has been a very difficult one for us.

          In January, Leah's grandmother, Clara Zuener passed away and we weren't able to go home to be with family.  We have lost family members, friends and mentors this year.

We were asked to step down from the Management Team of ACM in February while at a retreat in Kenya.

   We have been through three verification processes for our organization and our work and residence permits here in Tanzania which have been mentally, emotionally and financially draining.

 We have seen very little progress in the "soil" in our area, even as we continue to pray and meet with people, while at the same time the discipleship in Arusha is flourishing.

It has been a discouraging year overall, and we are looking forward to this year being over!

              With Thanksgiving approaching, I am encouraged to thank God for those things this year that we may have taken for granted.

For our health
For our family, both those living and those who have gone before us
For our supporters
For food, clothing, water, shelter
For our safety

Thank you, Lord, for your blessings!

Friday, September 29, 2017

New Pet Kitten!

Masala in the background and Periwinkle sit on the couch
So... we have a new pet kitten!  She is a female, and we named her Periwinkle.  A friend almost hit her with her car and rescued her.  Having looking and not finding her mother, she brought her to our house and we got very attached.  After keeping her over the weekend, it became official, and we have made her a part of the family.

Our cat, Masala, is not too thrilled about having to share her family and space with a new kitten.  They are starting to get used to each other though.

We now have 2 cats, 2 dogs and a hedgehog!
Max and Ruby

"Mouse" our hedgehog




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Heather turns 13


   Heather turned 13 on September 13th!

I now have two teenagers!  

Heather loves to paint with acrylics.  

She entered this painting of a sea turtle into the Celebrating Art completion and her painting will be published in their book!

Heather also plays the piano, knits, loves to read on her Kindle, play with our pets, and of course with her brother and sister.

We love you, Heather!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Katrina returns to RVA

Katrina at the airport

Somehow sending Katrina for her second year at RVA was harder than sending her last year.  Maybe its because now we know what it's like to go months between seeing her.  Maybe its because she has struggled with migraines last term, and we know she could be heading into the same struggles again.

Whatever the reason, as she walked through the security at the airport alone with her luggage to return to RVA somehow it hit me.  Katrina is grown up.  I am not "raising" her anymore.  She is making her own decisions now.  We can still guide her as parents, but she is making her own way in the world now.

Turning and walking away from the airport, leaving her there alone, was so hard.  Even though I was crying, I knew in my heart that she was ok and that she was going to thrive at school.  It takes a lot of faith to send your child out into the world, especially at such a young age.

It is a little shocking to think that all of her ideals, all of her values, and what we have instilled in her has, for the most part, already been done.  That is a sobering thought, as I quickly thought back over her childhood wondering if I did it right, and what I might have forgotten or done wrong.

How quickly they grow up!


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Personality Based Homeschooling



I have written a homeschooling book!  I used the 16 personality types of Meyers-Briggs to help parents tailor make their homeschool to best emphasis their child's strengths.

Click here to buy the book on Amazon.  It is available on Kindle free if you are on Kindle Unlimited, or $2.99 is you are not, and $4 for the paperback.  If you read my book, please write a review for Amazon.

For a free preview of the book Click Here

Thursday, July 13, 2017

End of the School Year

Heather finishes 6th grade, Jonathan finishes 2nd grade homeschool
Katrina finished 9th grade at RVA- home on school break
             We have successfully completed another school year.  I am proud to say that Katrina is on the Honor Roll at RVA for this last year.  Heather has completed her online testing for RVA, and her application has been applied for her to attend in 9th grade, in two years from now.
         For now, we are going to enjoy our six week break together just enjoying each other and resting.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Friendship


Charnelle and I- 2017

We were so blessed to have Charnelle visit us the day after we arrived home from our counseling retreat.

Charnelle holding Heather 9 months old in 2005, during language school. We are in a taxi going out to eat together.
We first met Charnelle in 2005 when we were going to language school together in Morogoro, Tanzania. After language school, she was based near Moshi, and we were living in Arusha, which is about 40 minutes drive away so we could keep in touch.  
2011- We stayed with Charnelle for three weeks while we looked for a house



Our kids grew up knowing Aunt Charnelle, and her two dogs, Fredrick and Tandi.  She was a constant in our lives.  In 2012, she moved from Tanzania to South Africa, and now she teaches at an international school abroad.  In 2013, she came to visit us in Arusha.
Charnelle visits 2013


Now, when she came to see us again, it was so refreshing to see her again.   There is something about seeing a good friend that has known you for a long time. They can help give you some perspective, and help you think of the big picture not just what is happening in the "here and now".  But, also, just knowing they accept you for who you are and where you are, and you can pick up again where you left off after years without seeing eachother.  
I am blessed to call Charnelle my friend.

2017