Saturday, May 25, 2013

Five Minute Friday: View

I left Africa on April 18 and have been living out of a suitcase ever since.  We've gone from Virginia to Ohio to Pennsylvania to Virginia to South Carolina to North Carolina, back to South Carolina, and back to Ohio. This weekend we speak at a church in western Pennsylvania, in, get this, a town named Venus.  Sunday night we will be back at our home assignment home...back to the place we call home when not in Africa.

We are speaking in churches every Sunday but two during the three months we are home.  Many people have asked us if we will get any rest.  Thankfully we will.  Just living at Missionary Retreat Fellowship is restful.  Best of all is the view.  Every where we look are trees, green grass, and flowers.  In the past we have seen deer, bear, foxes, and wild turkeys.  

With a view like this, we soon feel refreshed.  There is something about seeing God's creation, feeling the peace, and hearing.....nothing that is so healing.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on the word:::


Friday, May 10, 2013

The Year in Pictures: April 29 - May 5

The past weekend and this week have been pretty crazy.  These are my pictures from last week....and once again this week is almost over before I get around to posting pictures.

April 29...Suz, Theo, and I were all out of the house quite a bit on Monday.  When I came home I saw this mess.  Moose had jumped on the spice shelf and knocked it off.  Fortunately we had packed most of the stuff from the shelf.

 April 30 ... Spring is such a beautiful time of year!  It got up to about 80 and the flowering trees were just loaded with blossoms.  This is our little "toy car" we are leasing for the summer.

May 1 ... I might have the days switched here....but either Tuesday or Wednesday Suz and I met a student at a restaurant in downtown Cedarville.  This is the outside eating area of the restaurant.  Isn't it beautiful?

 May 2 ... Late Wednesday night we moved almost all of what was left over to Suz and Theo's new place.  Theo got this fridge from Craig's list for $30.00.  It was gross inside and as you can see, moldy on the outside.  But on Thursday, Theo got it all scrubbed up and it's really a very nice fridge and it works well!  Theo and I also finished cleaning the apartment they moved out of and Suz started unpacking stuff at their new place.  The next four days we unpacked stuff whenever we had a few minutes to spare.  In this picture Theo is trying to get Moose and Caribou (his brother's cat) to be friends.

May 3 ... Suz, Theo, and I went to a recognition ceremony for the education majors.  The education majors were given this pin in appreciation for all their hard work.  And yes, education majors do a LOT more than color and cut things out!

May 4... Saturday, Suz's graduation from Cedarville.  She graduated with high honors and we are very proud of her!  John arrived on Friday afternoon and Daniel and Kelly came Friday night (actually Saturday morning).  One of Theo's brothers and his girlfriend also came so we had a fun time together.

May 5 ... After church we had a family picnic to honor Suzanne.  My sister, brother-in-law, and niece did a lot of work for us to make this happen.  I don't know how we would have been able to do it without them.  I love this picture of Kelly holding my great-niece.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Spring and Feeling Just a Bit Sad

Ever since I arrived in the US, it's been pretty cold.  But suddenly it got warm and the last two days have been absolutely perfect.  It's been in the 70's and I think today it even hit 80.  The grass is so green, the pink and purple budding trees are loaded with blossoms, lilac scent fills the air, people are mowing their grass, and girls are out sun-bathing.  I think days like this must release all sorts of feel good endorphins!

So why do I feel a bit sad?  As I was walking around Cedarville today it struck me that from now on there won't be much reason for us to come to Cedarville.  I lived here when I was three and then again when I was 6 and 7. 
This is where we lived when I was in first grade.
Then we moved to the country.  I tried to find the house we lived in, but I don't remember the location well enough to find it on my own.  This farm is in the general area, though.  We rented a house on a working farm and had so much freedom to just play outside.
 I was a student at Cedarville College, before it was Cedarville University.  My first two years I lived with my Great Aunt Jeanette who lived right across the street from the college.  
Aunt Jeanette's house
Before I came to Cedarville and after graduating, a visit to Aunt Jeanette was a routine summer event.  We spent many a summer evening sitting out on that front porch. She was one of my most favorite people in the whole world and I still miss her.  
The dorm I lived in my senior year

Then both Daniel and Suzanne came to Cedarville as students.  We had an extended home assignment to help get them settled, so trips to Cedarville were frequent.  After Suz and Theo were married, their first apartment was in Cedarville.  
Suz and Theo's 1st home...down in the basement
Today we are in the process of moving them to another nearby town and on Saturday Suz graduates from Cedarville.  So I feel a bit sad because all these happy memories seem to be coming to an end.  There will be little reason from now on to come to Cedarville.  It feels a bit like a chapter has come to an end.....a good chapter.
Suz and Theo and my sister and brother-in-law still live in the area, but there won't be much reason for us to come to Cedarville any more.  So yesterday and today I took some pictures.
A popular eating spot in Cedarville

I just enjoyed walking around a small mid-western, homey town,
Downtown Cedarville

taking in the spring beauty.  Yes, life goes on and I've learned that while it's sad to end one chapter, the next chapter is equally good.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The Year in Pictures: My First Full Week back in USA

I've now been in the US for a little over a week.  I recovered from jet lag incredibly fast.  In fact I've  hardly had any of the usual symptoms which has been really nice.  

Monday, April 22... I went and got my hair cut.  She asked if I wanted a straight blow dry.  I thought she meant just a blow dry....nothing fancy.  She spent at least 20 minutes blowing drying it straight.  I loved the look, but I'll never be able to repeat this at home. I NEVER spend 20 minutes on my hair, so I'm not going to take that long to do something to my hair it doesn't naturally do.  

Wednesday, April 23... I got a rental car and drove from Arlington, VA to Beavercreek, OH.  I needed to get the rental car back by 5:00 p.m. or pay for a 2nd day.  I got it back at about 4:50!  Whew, just made it.  Kelly and Suz were so helpful....Kelly taking me to the rental place in Arlington on her way to work (but actually going out of her way) and Suz rushing from school to pick me up at the other end.

Thursday, April 24... Theo was helping Suz with class prep.  They were making a solar oven for the kids to see how the sun can be used to make energy and even to cook food.  They just put chocolate chips in it since they didn't have time to actually cook anything in it.  Moose was helping Theo.

Friday, April 25... It's been pretty cold since I've gotten here.  Most days have been in the low 60's.  Coming from days of between 105 and 110 that feels cold, believe me.  But spring is beautiful!  These tulips were on the Cedarville University campus with the new Medical Sciences building in the background.

Saturday, April 26... Theo, Suz, my sister, Natalie, and her husband, Duane, and I went to Elliv a talent show at Cedarville.  Before the show everybody throngs around outside and when the doors open a mob pushes in, rushing to get the best seats.  A student came up to my sister and I and told us we could go in early because last year some ladies got knocked down and one had to have knee surgery.  I jokingly said something about letting the old ladies in early and he replied that he'd been told to let in any ladies over 35.  Whew, he recovered from that one well!

Sunday, April 27...  I went to church with Suz and Theo and they were accepted into the church as members that Sunday.  It's a blessed thing to see your kids growing strong in their faith.

John arrives Friday night (he actually arrives in Chicago Thursday and takes the bus down here on Friday).  Daniel and Kelly will arrive late, late Friday night (probably technically Saturday morning).  Suz graduates from Cedarville on Saturday.  It will be good to be all together as a family!