Sunday, October 4, 2015

Catching Up Again!

It has been so long since I posted anything on this blog! Rick and I now have 4 kids, the youngest being 4 years old already. So about 5 years ago.
  In that time, so much has changed! After Emma(our 5 year old)and Abigail were born, Rick felt God calling him to pastor the church we were attending. So, to make a long story short, we have been in the ministry for 4 years now. It does not seem possible that it has been that long already.
  I homeschool Julia(6th grade)and Chris(3rd grade), and send the little girls to Warwick River Christian School for Kindergarten and Preschool. It is an exciting life!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Catching Up

Wow! Has time flown by! So many things have changed since the last time I posted. Rick and I have baby #3 on the way. My due date is March 29, 2010. We're supposed to have another baby girl. On one hand, I can hardly wait. On the other hand, I know the changes little babies bring to a family. Obviously, the good things outweigh the bad. I love kids.

Julia is half way through her kindergarten year at Warwick River Christian School. She is doing well. Behaves herself and gets along with her classmates and teachers. She is learning to read as well. It's so exciting to be able to watch her progress. She can read most three letter words and some four and five letter words. Now, to get her writing the sentences. That seems so hard to her.

We have enjoyed a whole year worshiping with the folks, at Grace Bible Church, in Richmond. We still visit them on occasion. We are starting(with the help of two or three other families) a new church here in Newport News. We are meeting in a hotel conference room for now. It's a new experience for all of us. We all believe that we are finally in God's timing for this. We are calling ourselves, Hampton Roads Bible Methodist Church(affiliated with Heartland Bible Methodist). If you read this, please pray for us, as the enemy is already fighting us. We are encouraged by the willingness of everyone to help us out and attend our service on Sunday.

My husband is still in school. He might get to graduate in May. We sure hope so! Then we have to decide where to go from there. There is so much change for us, as a family, in the year that lies ahead.

I joined a MOPS(Moms Of Preschoolers)group, at the prompting of one of my friends. I have enjoyed and been challenged by the things the speakers had to say. I think I have grown as a person and spiritually, as a result of going to MOPS. It was good for me to get out of my comfort zone and try something new.

This should catch me up for now. I've got Facebook now and find it hard to find time to write new posts. That needs to change, I guess.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Flight On a Tanker

Last week, I got a text from Rick, asking if I'd like to take a flight on a fuel tanker. I thought that sounded like fun, so he put my name in for it. Then we had to wait for a few days. Rick sent me a text a couple days later and told me I made the list. I was excited. I knew better than to get too excited about it, because in the military, plans are apt to change with little notice.

Well, Tuesday morning, we all got up before the sun to get ready. I got dressed then packed a lunch bag and my little black bag with magazines and a book. We drove to the base and parked outside Flight Line Management Building. Then we sat and stood around for about an hour. Finally, it was time to walk out on the tarmac to the plane.

After we found our seats, one of the flight crew walked back to see that we were all buckled and finding everything alright. He stood beside this old-looking piece of equipment and said, just barely loud enough for us to hear, "I hope this thing doesn't blow up again." We all just laughed it off. Military scare-tactics. It was a funny joke just for all the maintainers on board.

That scary piece of equipment(just an APU).
Take off was a little different than I'm used to. We were sitting in net-seats along the sides of the plane. Our seat-belts had hooks instead of buckles. Because we were not facing forward, we had to hang on to something so we wouldn't slide off the seat. Our pre-flight safety talk was a little different as well. We had manual oxygen masks(we were informed that they can suffocate you if you don't get them on right), the life vest was the same, but the exits were not. Yes there was a door, but it had a sign above it that said, "emergency safety rope". We were told to make sure that the rope was secure before we jumped. We were all hoping we wouldn't have to jump.After we got in the air and leveled off, we were allowed to get up and look around. I took a look into the cockpit to see the pilots and the controls. Then we all started heading to the back of the plane. It was refueling time. I stood on the deck and watched as an F-15 flew up and got refueled. I finally got my turn in the hole. You have to take two steps down then lay down on a cushion to see out the windows. I got to take pictures of the jet refueling. It was so totaly cool!

After my turn was done, I wandered out to find something else to take pictures of. I stopped by one of the windows, and happened to see one of the refueled jets flying on our wing. That made for a great picture. I got a picture of that one, and of the one that flew by our other wing. Seeing jets get refueled was the whole point of the trip.
I am very greatful that I got to go on that flight. I had a totaly awesome experience that very few civilians ever get.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter, My Favorite Time of the Year

As Christians, we feel that Easter is an important time of the year. It's the time we remember that Jesus died on the cross, was buried and rose up from the grave so we could be saved.

On Good Friday, Rick decided to have communion, with the kids, around our coffee table. We set up candles, a large roll, and a glass of grape juice. Rick also had fold-out cubes that told the story of Easter and bookmarks for the kids. We all knelt around the table, and while Rick read the Last Supper, we ate the bread and drank of the grape juice. Then we prayed and thanked Jesus for dying for us. It was a very special time. I couldn't stop the tears from flowing. Just to think that Jesus cared enough about me...the whole give His life so we could have eternal life.

Julia seemed to understand most of what we said. Rick says this will be a yearly tradition. Each year, the kids will comprehend a little more. Chris only understands that "Jesus die on the cwoss," but that's pretty good for someone his age. That much has stuck with him since he saw a picture of Jesus on the cross. I don't think He will ever forget that.

Rick sent me shopping on Saturday. Some people grow out of getting a new dress for Easter. I still like to do it. I went to Christopher and Banks, at the mall. They had some good sales that day. I got 30% off on my outfit. I was glad I shopped there! I had such a great time just getting out of the house. I can't do that too much right now. Rick is in school, and works two jobs. So, it's a real treat to leave the kids with him and just get out.

Easter Sunday was a great day. We went to church and heard some lovely singing by Pastor Melvin and his wife, and Bro. Hinton. Then we heard a sermon, by Rev. James Keaton, about why we believe that Jesus rose from the grave.

After church, we were all invited out to Ronny and Sharon Gathercole's house. They live out in the country. Reminds me of home! We had our Easter dinner in their garage. It was a delicious meal. So much food you could hardly decide what to eat! After dinner, the men went outside to hide Easter eggs. There were so many eggs that it took the guys about 15 minutes to hide them all. They let the kids out in age groups: 0-4, 5-8, 9-12 and up. It was great to see the excitement on the kids faces. There were eggs everywhere! Some of the grownups went too(I won't say their names)! It was so much fun for everyone. Julia came in second for her age group. She got 58. Rick and I don't believe in the Easter bunny, but we do believe in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I'm going to try to put our Easter family picture at the bottom of my blog. If I can't do it myself, I'll have Rick help me. He's so much better that me at computer stuff. At any rate, it will get there.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Family Fun at the Park

The weather is finally getting warmer! Spring is my favorite time of the year. I love to watch the trees and flowers come alive.

The weather was so nice on Saturday, that Rick decided that we all should go for a walk in the park.
We normally go to Sandy Bottom Nature Park, but Rick wanted to try something new. He picked the Mariner's Park. There is a 5 mile trail to walk. We only went a little over a mile, but it was sure fun! From the first bridge that we crossed, we could see ducks, geese, and turtles. The kids were so excited! Rick began taking pictures of everything(he just bought a new Necon DX and is still learning how to work it).

The kids really enjoyed themselves. They love to draw, so the sandy trails were like giant art boards to them. I just enjoyed watching them, and having some much needed family time. Rick is at work, then he comes home, changes and either goes to class or off to meet his clients. Seems that he's not home too much right now. Those family times are few, but precious. I'm sure that will change when Rick gets out of school. Not complaining here. Just stating the facts.

I want to share a few of those pictures with you. Here are a few(can't put all 200 of them on here).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow In March

Last night a winter storm blew in. It was sleeting outside for a while. Then the wind started blowing really hard. My children were wishing for snow. They even prayed about it during family devotions. Well, the Lord answered their little prayers. We got about 2 inches, which is more than we normally get. We hardly ever see snow here. Julia got to stay home from preschool because they closed the schools in our area.

Nobody knows how to drive in snow around here. There are wrecks all over the place and roads being closed down. It's a madhouse! I'm glad to be at home in my snug little house. Now, if only I could get Rick to take the kids out to play in the snow. I don't like to go out in weather like this. Brrrr! I will probably have to for a little bit though. Winter coats and mittens, here we come!

Maybe I'll get a couple pictures. We'll see.

Friday, January 30, 2009

My Trip to Okinawa

Rick and I left the kids with his parents on Sunday afternoon(Dec. 29). It was harder than I thought it would be. Rick and I both were trying not to cry. We drove up to Columbus, Ohio to spend the night with Rick's cousin, Aaron Holley.

The next morning, we got up early, ate breakfast and went to the airport. We waited and waited for our flight. We found out that our flight had been delayed for 2 hours. That meant that we would miss all of our connecting flights. Rick worked everything out. The Lord had plenty to with it too. We got on a jet that we were not booked on and got to Detroit, MI. When we got there, we got on a flight to Tokyo, Japan by the skin of our teeth. The only seats left were in business class. We were quite pleased about that. That flight was the longest one I'd ever been on in my life. It was 14 hours long!

When we got to Tokyo, we had to pick up our luggage and go through customs. Our luggage was the last off the plane. On top of that, someone on the other side of the carousel had taken my bag off the belt. We started to panic, but found out(by asking for help)that it was sitting right over on the other side. We ran to customs. The guy was real nice and we got through quickly. Then we ran to the flight desk. I was feeling a little sick by then. The ladies behind the desk worked really hard to get us on the last plane leaving for Okinawa that day. I don't know how, but they did it. We ran out to the shuttle and got out to the plane. What a relief!!!

On that last 3 hour flight, I wasn't feeling very well. I was coming down with a virus from home. I tried to get to the bathroom, but fainted as I tried to open the door. i don't think I was out very long before we hit some turbulence. I woke up bumping my head on the wall. The flight attendants didn't even see me until I said, "Ow! Ow!", then everyone was around me at once. I had an embarrassing moment. I tried to tell them I was sick, but they couldn't understand me. They finally understood...too late. I ended up sleeping in the galley for the rest of the trip. They kept asking me if I needed a hospital. I said no, but I would probably need a wheelchair when we got there. So, that's how I ended up getting a ride through the airport. I went out to meet the Millers, while Rick picked up our luggage. At least we made it. What a trip!

Thankfully, the Millers live close to the airport. I was able to get to bed as soon as we got there. The Millers made a special trip to the store for me. They brought chicken noodle soup and 7up, two comfort foods for the ill. I got better quickly, and I sang and played the piano that night. It was their New Year's Eve service.

New Year's day we went over to the Budist Temple. Just to walk up to it and see what it looked like. There was a long walkway leading up to it that included several flights of steps. we walked up to the next to the last level. In order to go inside the temple you had to pay $ .05 for a blessing to be prayed over you. We didn't want that. It was sad to look around and see all the darkness. People who buy prayer papers and prayer boards. They write their prayer on the back, then tie it on these strings with special string. On a certain day every year, the monks burn the prayers and they think the smoke rises to the gods and the prayers will be answered.
I thought all the street vendors were neat though. All the new smells. Most of them were alright. The goats and pigs didnt smell so great though.

The next day, we took the Millers onto Camp Foster to do some "American" shopping. We bought them all kinds of things that they can't get at the markets. Then after we ate lunch in the Food Court, Rick and I went "Christmas "shopping. It was so much fun.

When we got home, we had just enough time to wrap the gifts before we had to walk over to the Ota's house. They served us a traditional New Years dinner, salad(with sesame dressing), rice(of course), a stew of some kind(it had hard boiled eggs, raddish, little smokies, seaweed and pork in it), and pig intestine soup. They wanted us to eat some and guess what it was. I guessed after the third bite. It was good, but the thought of it made me sick.

We sat around talking after the meal(I could understand very little of it). Then we held kimonos up to ourselves to see which ones would look good on the other. That was only the ladies, by the way. They asked me if I'd like to wear a kimono to church on Sunday night. I said Ok. It was something to look forward to. Finally, my head started to nod. I was sooo tired! Sister Ota told the millers to take me home quickly so I could go to bed.

The next day we went out to eat for lunch. It was alot like hibachi, but over there it's called tempanyaki. They cook everything in front of you and the cheff does a little show for you. We had two cheffs at our grill. They had a contest to see which one had better tricks. It was neat.
After that, we crossed the street to the market. It's a street that has a roof over it and is much like our flea markets. People standing by their things and calling out to you as you pass by. We did buy some things of interest. A coinpurse made intirely of a frog(yes it really is a frog skin), some nightlights and a wooden hat. We also bought some of the money cards because they are so pretty. On the way back to the van, Rick insisted that I stop at one of the vending machines and buy a soda. I bought a can of Mt. Dew and it was 20 oz! We brought the can home with us.

When we got home, we had just enough time for the Millers to open their gifts. That was so much fun! The looks of pure joy and excitement made every penny worth it. Then we had to get ready for the Kyans to come over. I had a hard time if Kyoko wasn't in the room with me. Sister Kyan doesn't know much English at all. Language barriers are so tuff!

The next day was Sunday. The Millers waited until Saturday evening to ask if we could teach Sunday School. I tried and tried to figure something out but went to bed with no ideas at all. Around 3 a.m., I woke up with all kinds of ideas floating around in my head. I got up and began to write them down. Everything came together quickly. I revised one of Rick's object lessons about the spots of sin and how to get rid of your sins. We then had to run it by Kyoko to see if anything would be lost in translation, and to get her to write the sins in Japanese so we could put them all over Rick's shirt. It went okay, for my first time speaking through an interpreter. It turned out to only be about 10 to 15 minutes long. I got ahead of myself a little bit. The Lord helped us anyway.

Sunday evening, we went up to the Ota's house to have our kimonos put on. Let me tell you, they are soooo uncomfortable! They are like wearing a corset. By the time everything is tied on, you can't breathe, and you can just barely move to walk. You can't relax either. You can't sit back in your seat because the huge bow gets in the way! I got through it though. I somehow found the breath to sing. After church, Brother Kyan took pictures of everyone in kimonos. There were 10 of us in all. It was a rich cultural experience.

The last few days were full of ministry to the surrounding islands, sightseeing, and shopping for souveniers. We had a children's service in a public park, and went calling door to door on the next island. We ate at a little restaraunt and had taco rice. Then we went across the street to the ocean and played volleyball(without a net)in the sand. We had two of the young people from church with us that day. We even explored a ruined castle on the way home.

Tuesday, we went looking for a place that Kyoko wanted to show us. We found a place that was like it. Then we went down to the ocean again. We stopped at a little place an got some seafood. Oh, is fresh deep fried squid ever good! We ate at a picnic table along the road. Then they took us down to walk on the coral. It's really sharp. You don't want to trip and fall on that.
The Millers had their English students over for class that night. I stayed up as long as I could. It had been a very long day. The students enjoyed talking with us. Rick exchanged e-mail adresses with one of them.

Wednesday was our last day. We went to several dollar stores. We just had fun hanging out with the Millers for one more day. Then came our last service at the church. Rick gave his testimony, and then came the long, sad goodbyes. We don't know if we will ever see those people again. We made many friends and we miss them.

We rode the monorail to the airport the next day. One of the ladies from church met us there to say goodbye one last time and to give another gift. We said quick goodbyes to the Millers and headed through security and customs. Of course, our trip home was uneventful and safe.

My first international experience was a great one. The Miller family and the church family at Okinawa made it unforgettable.

It was great to see our kids again. A little time away changes one's perspective just a little bit. We are glad to be home.

I did miss one little thing, but I can't remember the name of the place. I'll have to ask Rick about it and add it later.