Thursday, August 18, 2011

10 Incredible Years

August 18, 2001

 Thinking today about an afternoon 10 years ago...a lovely August day in Portland, surrounded by friends and family, feeling beautiful and full of hope and joy and walking down the aisle towards my best friend.  I cannot believe it has been 10 years since that day!

So far marriage has been an incredible journey filled with adventure, challenges, joys, tears, difficulties, beautiful memories...

We met nearly 13 years ago in the first weeks of college at Multnomah.  We dated for 3 years before getting married.

In our first two years of marriage, we lived with another couple (our best friends) for a year, took on our first full-time youth pastor position, graduated college and were accepted at candidacy with Cadence International.  We spent the next year and a half traveling the States and raising support as missionaries with Cadence. 

In January of 2005 we arrived in Germany for our first field assignment at Dexheim.  In 2006 we moved to Kaiserslautern (where we have been ever since).  In 2007, we kicked off the year with the birth of our first baby, Alethia, who has added so much passion and spunk to our lives. 

Masami was born in 2008.  His charm and energy has further enhanced our life.

It truly has been an incredible 10 years of life together!  Thank you, Anthony, for all the joy and love you bring to my life.  I am honored to get the next 10 years with you!

Us in Switzerland in May

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Midsummer Knight's Read

Some of our favs from this summer
That was the theme of this summer's reading program at our library on base.  It was all things castles, dragons, ladies-in-waiting, and knights.  We enjoy reading with the kids regularly anyways, but the kids had fun seeing their reading time translate into library "castle cash".  They spent it on stickers, pens, foam swords, crowns and the like.  I had no idea until the end how serious some people get over the prizes!  Apparently the library was "releasing" new prizes for the week each Sunday and families would line-up Sunday morning before open to be the first to spend their reading dollars on new prizes.  We were blissfully ignorant of the "better" prizes and just enjoyed what we got.

More of our favorites

The weekly program was on Wednesday mornings where the kids would hear a few stories and get to do a craft and pick a new book or two to borrow.  We did not get to go every week, but the kids really enjoyed the times we went.  They enjoy discovering new books.  Like this summer we discovered the "How Do Dinosaurs..." series by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague which Masami loves.  We also found a new installment of the "Ladybug Girl" books (one of Alethia's favorite series) that we had never read.  And Anthony really liked it when I picked out "Where Did Daddy's Hair Go?" as a stab at his own balding head.  We all giggled as we read it. 

This week was the grand finale celebration of the library reading program where the kids got to spend the last of their cash and eat ice cream sundaes and were awarded with certificates.  We still have a basketful of library books that the kids look at daily and it is nice not have to keep track of their reading minutes any more.  I'm glad we did the reading program but, in the end, I'm most glad that my kids love books!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

When Pandamania leads to Pneumonia

We spent another week volunteering at VBS at our chapel.  We had much the same roles as the previous week, but they crammed 5 mornings of VBS into 2 long days.  It went well for the most part.  The pre-schoolers that I was working with had some melt-downs in the middle of the day and several took naps.  Our kids did great.  Even though this week was a repeat for them, they still enjoyed the songs, stories, and crafts a second time around. In the week since then, it has been really fun to watch them further process what they learned and hearing them say "thank you God!" as they realize His hand in their day. 

Anthony's middle school group had a great turn-out of teens who volunteered at VBS.  Then, after the first day, they loaded-up, headed to dinner and did a scavenger hunt at the mall on base.  They all slept over at the youth building and volunteered at VBS the next day.  The teens had a great time and were a big help.  Here is a music video they made for VBS:

I guess it was all just too much for Anthony, though.  The morning after VBS was over, he woke-up with a fever and feeling sick.  After spending the weekend struggling through with no sign of his fever lessening, he went to the doctor on Monday.  Turns out...he has a pretty serious case of Pneumonia.  His blood test came back with numbers off the chart pointing to a very bad infection.  He is currently on bed-rest until Monday which will probably be extended into next week.  Please pray for a quick and full recovery!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

World Baloon Trophy

Last weekend I got to go to a Hot-Air Balloon Tournament in Luxembourg.  I really do not know why I have not made it to such an event before because I love hot-air balloons.  And this was so much fun.

 Alethia, Heather, and I made a girls night of it.  It was about an hour and a half away on a lake.  We got there just in time for the launch.  It was amazing watching the balloons get blown-up and take shape. 

The animal balloons opened the show, followed by balloons of all different colors. 

We wandered through the fest tents while keeping an eye on the sky for passing balloons. 

Of course Alethia had to have a balloon of her own...

And the food is part of the fun...

chocolate-covered Strawberries

When in Rome...

There were lots of fun activities for the kids...

But, of course, the best part was watching all the colorful balloons go by. 

Next year, we definitely have to stay later because at dusk they set-off lanterns and the view is incredible.  We were pretty wiped-out from VBS, though, and had a long drive home so we ducked out at 9:30. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


We spent much of last week at Vacation Bible School on base. It ran from 9 to 12 each morning and had nearly 200 American military kids attending. The theme was about how God is wild about us even in the midst of the crazy chaos of this world. 

Anthony was overseeing teen volunteers, running sound, and organizing activities for the teens on two of the afternoons.  I taught pre-school bible for about 90 pre-school kids which was completely exhausting.  I don't know how teachers do it!  Kids were divided into "crews" of about 15-20 kids, so each day I taught a lesson 5 times.  Many of the lessons were quite active (like when we journeyed with Jonah in hiding from God, "swimming" after getting "thrown" from a boat and climbing through the tummy of the fish).  The most fun was when I got to teach Alethia and Masami's crew each day.

This was their first year of attending VBS.  Masami was a bit on the young side for it, but still did well.  They really got into the songs and trying to dance and do the hand motions.  They also had a great time shouting "Thank you, God" after key phrases throughout the week.  We laughed whenever Masami tried to sing one song in particular.  The line is, "He's wild, he's wild, God is wild about us" and Masami couldn't exactly say "wild".  So it came out as "wide",  "blind", or "pied".  Anyway he said it was funny because he was so excited.

We spent the weekend recovering.  Pray for us because we get to do it all over again this week!  The Army Chapel community is hosting another round of VBS for kids on the other side of town.  It'll be a bit smaller and we are cramming 5 mornings of VBS into 2 long days.  Also, Anthony is hosting a Middle School service project.  Students come serve at VBS and in the evening will get to do a scavenger hunt and have dinner together.  They will sleep over at the youth building and serve again the 2nd day. 

Needless to say...we will be laying low again next weekend!

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