27 May 2009

Home Again

After 5 wonderful days in Northern Minnesota, I have a few things to share:
  • Even if its flat, it doesn't seem flat because of the trees.
  • Black Bear? No, I'd rather not see where they hang out.
  • 5 wonderful days aren't really 5 days when you consider that its an 8 hour drive up there.
  • Holiday weekend traffic in the cities sucks.
  • I was thankful to be driving the hybrid and still getting good gas mileage.
  • I averaged 37.2 mpg thank you very much
  • Uncle Eric is getting more used to the kids (and kids in general) each time we see him.
  • Watching Eric and Ryan wrestle on the air mattress with the kids was adorable
  • My little rockstars were great on the drums. Scott didn't stop moving while Bethany would take occasional breaks to sit on her Uncle Eric's lap and drum.
  • Night at the Museum (2) was a much needed break.
  • A movie and Dairy Queen was a great way to celebrate our anniversary while in MN. Although I must say I missed our annual viewing of wedding photos, etc.
  • WallyWorld kept sucking us in - I think we went every day, sometimes twice a day. Good bye paycheck!
  • Eric's church had a really cool Memorial Day celebration during their church service. I cried. Thank you to those who served and continue to do so. I appreciate you.
  • Two full days of fast food plus way too much good food in between equals unhealthy!
  • I'm not sure if I like kamboocha (it's a drink). It's home brewed and some of it was good but I had one that tasted like a fizzy apple cider vinegar. They say its an appetite suppressant, I could understand why.
  • Organic foods are expensive! When we bought, it was NOT organic. Sorry Eric.
  • Scott decided he doesn't want to eat anymore because he doesn't want to go poop. Not sure what to do with that kid. But he's had more accidents in the last week than the whole time he was potty training.

I think that's enough. Being gone was great. Spending time with Ryan's family was great. Having no phone, no email, and almost no TV was awesome. Getting back to the crazy life, well it's been crazy!

We got home in time to do some grocery shopping, unload the vehicle and then I was off to my first spanish class for my Mexico trip. Elaine came home with me. She's staying with the kids today and hopefully tomorrow. I still need to find help for Friday. I hope she survives the kids and is willing to come back! This morning didn't start off well. Scott woke and had wet the bed. He doesn't do this usually. I got to work late and then left mid morning for a chiropractor appointment. May the rest of the day go well...

20 May 2009

He's precious

I knew I was forgetting something in my last blog post...

Presenting my newest nephew:
Hunter Joseph

Scott's Fishing + a random update

Last night Scott's Papa and Grammy took him fishing in the pond. Each picture below is of a different fish he caught. He called when they were done fishing and told his daddy that he caught a bunch of fish, big ones! He then told Ryan that "we threw them back in cause they were just bass". That kid is too smart. I thought he should have kept them based on their size but I have since learned that bass aren't good to eat.

And in case I've not shared about my little fisherman in the past, I'll do that quickly. In the pictures, you'll see Scott's real pole. He has his practice pole too. His practice one is a little pole with a rubber fish tied to the end. When we get a decent rain, mom gets little puddles in the alley near her driveway. Scott stands in the driveway and casts into his fishing puddles. He'll stand there for quite some time practicing. Apparently his practice has paid off.

I wanted to share an update yesterday but seriously feel like I don't have anything blog worthy since I'm spending way too much time auditing contracts in another field office. I thought of a few things though:
  • Yesterday I had lunch with the state office reviewers (they were auditing my audits), the boss here, and the other auditor. At one point I dripped a bit of salsa on my chest and wiped it off. Almost 5 hours later I saw in the mirror that in fact I had not wiped it off and there was a faint line just over my breast bone. Maybe it was faint enough that it looked like a scar or was hidden by my shirt. Most likely though, it was a good laugh for my counterparts the rest of the day.
  • On my way to work out yesterday morning I was speeding which isn't normal for me. But I'd forgotten the keys to the ghetto gym and had to go back so I was in a hurry. The nice officer was clocking me for sure but let me go. Apparently he was being generous with my 5 miles over the limit. Thank you kind sir!
  • The bugs that ate our 200' long shrub row last year did quite a number on it. It's dead for the most part. I've been trimming it to the ground. It's tedious work and I'm losing my little windbreak for the driveway. Anyone have a bunch of shrubs handy that they'd like to see someone plant. I'd gladly take them.
  • We meet with Kathy tomorrow night. She'll be doing our homestudy for our adoption.
  • Mexico City planning and fundraising is going well. Thanks to those who have supported me. I would love to hear from more of you, especially to know if you are praying for me.

Okay, that's it for now...

15 May 2009

New Nephew

My new little nephew was born yesterday morning. This morning at 5am, the birth mother released him to my step-sister Aimee (and Frank). Aimee and Frank are the proud adoptive parents of little Hunter Joseph Freitas.

Thank you Lord for the protection and health of the birth mom and Hunter. Thank you Lord for having Your hand in the situation and for bringing little Hunter home to a family that will forever love him.

Details and photos to follow

11 May 2009

Another Affirmation

This morning on my way to work I wondered about the Mexico letters I'd sent out. I sent them asking for prayer and financial assistance. I got a few replies from people with financial donations. I definitely appreciate those. But while driving I thought aloud to God that I hadn't received any replies of people telling me that they would specifically be praying for me. Well guess what, God cares!!! This afternoon I got a reply from a dear friend who said that they weren't willing to give but wanted to let me know they'd be praying. I was so excited! Seriously I was thrilled they weren't giving me money and when you're raising funds, you wouldn't think that would naturally be the case. I was just so excited to see how God provided. Jehovah Jirah, my provider!

10 May 2009

Mother's Day

Thank you mom for loving me all these years, especially during those days (and maybe they extended into years) when I was difficult. Thank you for being a sacrificial mom: for teaching us how to work hard. For providing our needs but not giving things to us on a silver platter. Thank you for showing us how to love others and meet their needs. I love you mom!

(and thank you for the super yummy lunch today... umm, I love ribs and mashed potatoes)

08 May 2009

Kalahari Resort

Well, I intended to share some pictures of our time at the Kalahari Resort. Thinking my hubby loaded all of them to my ipod, I started this post. Only to find out that he loaded the first half (that I had downloaded onto his laptop) onto my ipod and the rest are still on the camera... so here's what I'll share for now:
My meal Wedneday night. We started with coconut shrimp for an appetizer. They were awesome. My meal was a stir-fry that I didn't appreciate and thanks to Fort Dodge Animal Health, I was encouraged to order something else. I then ordered the coconut shrimp dinner and it was lovely. I couldn't believe it came out looking like this:
On our way back from supper, we stopped on a little rock for a family picture. Scott was less than thrilled to be taking the picture but Ryan smiled nicely and Bethany looks all grown up.
While at the African themed resort, God kept gently reminding that I wanted to love a child in need in His Name. I couldn't believe that the entire resort was full of reminders (both fun and historical) of Africa. I wanted to take their decorations home with me.
It was good to get away for a few days. An early morning coupled with no nap and a little boy who wouldn't poop made for a difficult day. But we did enjoy time with Ryan at lunch, a short visit to the waterpark, and eventually nap time. Thursday went much better when they slept in and we went to the waterpark first thing. I won't admit that my soon pooped (just a little) in his swim trunks at the waterpark some time before we got to the toilet. What fun to clean up! I will tell you that my son who is not adventurous (doesn't like the slide, doesn't ride a bike) loved the big waterslides where he had to ride a boat! What fun. Maybe more of those pictures in the coming days.

05 May 2009

bumper fixed

Back in January, Ryan backed into the van we had just bought 10 days before.  I got an estimate for repair but never got it fixed -- duct tape was a whole lot cheaper and did the job, until it rained this spring. 
Last Thursday my van was at the garage to get the sway links and sway bars fixed: $225
Friday, my van went to the body shop to get the bumper and back quarter panel fixed.  While they worked on that, I drove their little Rav.  Although I'm thankful for their loaner car, I did not like the Rav or the slight smell of smoke within.  So today I went to pick up my van.  I never thought I'd be so excited for a van.  Maybe it was because they washed it and vacuumed it out for me.  I walked up to the owner saying "Kurt, I have a bumper, in one piece, and no duct tape.  I love it."  He stood there and asked me to come take a look at it before I got real excited.  The van that he'd just parked by the front door for me to pick up had a new owie.  Someone opened the door and the wind caught it and it took a tin layer off of my freshly painted bumper.  I didn't care really, it was in one piece.  Kurt on the other hand felt awful.  We made arrangements for him to fix it when I get back to my office next month.  He told me that I didn't need to pay him until then.  Poor guy!

Insert movie times and more without leaving Hotmail®. See how.

04 May 2009

Leavin' on a jet plane

Tickets were cheap so I bought one. Actually, the husband of one of my team bought them for all 12 of us. Stepping out in faith that I'll be able to sell more things or raise more support, I purchased my ticket for $331 plus another $40 in insurance. That's cheaper than it is to fly to CA! I'm super excited. This trip is becoming more of a reality each day. I've also been communicating with the local newspaper about doing an article. We'll see what she comes up with.


right now i'm enjoying a kemp's 80 calorie yogurt. it's lemon flavored and i love it!

just one more something grandma

Last night we stopped at Ryan's parents. The time went to quick. But as we finally started to leave, Scott hollered out the window "Grandma, I just want to tell you one more something". That in itself was cute. But he followed that by telling his Grandma that "Jesus died on the cross for our sins". I about melted. I have not been pounding this into my child's head but he has learned it and is TELLing others. Love it!

01 May 2009

Whirlwind Post...

to match my whirlwind day
  • my TAB key isn't working... how annoying!
  • Got word this morning that I'll be spending 9 of the next 13 weeks in other field offices helping with an audit. That's what experience and hard work get you I guess.
  • Sent passport in today, a tad later than I'd planned
  • Talked with newspapers about articles for Mexico City trip
  • Got a tetanus, HepA, and HepB shot last night. Doing pushups right afterwards doesn't keep it from being sore. I tried.
  • 4pm came way too fast today. I'm swamped trying to do everything before I leave in a week to another office.
  • Thank my amazing God that today is friday and tomorrow is a "stay at home" day.
  • Finished Crazy Love by Francis Chan the other day. I'll have to listen to that again.
  • Have a nephew due in 21 days... woo hoo!

There's more I'm sure. But my mind is so running a million directions that I can hardly type... oh yeah I just remembered what else...

Scott picked this for me. He thought I should leave it on the counter at my mom's. He finally let me bring it to work. It's beautiful and he's such a sweet boy!

This thing was on my driveway last night. He didn't want to "play dead" when I tried flipping him over for a photograph. Fun-hater. Watch out, they bite!

And last but not least, my precious daughter with her adorable hat. My little Bethany looks just like my friend Bethany with this outfit!!!

Oh, and don't foget to read my post below:

Still looking for support

I need lots of prayer and financial support and thought this was another way to ask you for support. Below is my support letter that I'm sending out via email and the post office. Please take a few minutes to read:

and they think I can TRANSLATE

I’m writing to you not because I’ve become fluent in a new language. Nor because I’m off to some African country to adopt a child. Rather, I’m writing to you today to share my exciting opportunity to join my church team on a summer trip. It’s been a prayerful and emotional process to decide to go but I’m glad to tell you that I will be heading to Mexico City this August.

The first week of August I will fly down to Mexico City for 8 days. The purpose of this trip will be to share God’s love. We will be working through Gateway Teams (part of the North American Baptist conference) to serve in a Vacation Bible School setting, with some door to door promotion. Other opportunities might include the churches’ Sunday services for music, testimony and mimes as well as street ministry. Maybe I’ll even find a nearby orphanage to serve at. A local Pastor along with former NAB missionaries will host us.

Though I’m half Mexican, and my friends in the church think I can translate, I have no intentions of translating. I realized last night that my use of the Spanish language is rusty, at best, and I actually had to think of how to translate simple phrases when speaking with a Guatemalan couple. Regardless of how well I can speak the language, I know that I’m supposed to share. I know that God will give me the words to speak, or at least loving arms to hug! As the Message paraphrase says in Psalm 96: 1Sing God a brand-new song! Earth and everyone in it, sing! Sing to God - worship God! 2-3 Shout the news of his victory from sea to sea, take the news of his glory to the lost, news of his wonders to one and all! 4-5 For God is great, and worth a thousand Hallelujahs.

The recent weeks have been a journey for me. I have a million excuses as to why I shouldn’t go: small children at home, a career, limited time off of work, etc. Don’t we all have those excuses? However, I have a deep ingrained love for Mexico that started when I was in high school and took my first of many missions trips to Mexicali. Now 14 years after my first trip, I’m excited to go back.

Included in those excuses for not going is a lack of faith that I will come up with the money. You see, Ryan and I are budgeted pretty tightly so that our extra money is getting saved for our adoption that we’re working on (you can pray for that too... siblings from Ghana, Lord willing). How could I find any more money in our budget? I’m writing to you for two reasons:

The first reason is to ask you to pray that my faith increases. Pray that I would love God more deeply each day. Would you pray for my finances, my travel, the people I’ll rub shoulders with, and my family who I’ll leave behind?

Secondly that you would prayerfully consider partnering with me for this trip. I have to raise approximately $1200. Already I have been encouraged in this process. I was able to sell a few things that matched exactly what I needed for my first deposit. Two days later I received a check in the mail for $50 towards my second deposit. Though I’m encouraged, the reality is that I’m a long way from my total. Would you be willing to forego that Starbucks latte a few times? Would you be willing to wear an existing outfit to your next social event rather than buying a new one? Would you take a walk in the park for your date night rather than eating out just once?

I have $600 due May 31st and the remainder due on June 30th. If you would be interested in partnering with me, will you let me know? For a tax deductible gift, make checks may payable to First Baptist Church and mail them to me. If you would like to know more or have questions, please, please, please feel welcome to contact me!

You can leave a comment here or email me at tam4buit at hotmail dot com.