26 February 2010
2. Don’t just ask if he has ENOUGH cash, ask how much he has.
3. Give him extra cash just in case.
5. Pray more regarding his travels home
6. Know how to communicate with his family in Mexico.
Here’s how it went down for Isaac’s return trip yesterday:
Night before: Bob asks Isaac if he has enough money for food. Isaac says yes. I think no more about it.
630am: S&M pick Isaac up at my house and head to Des Moines. He’s in good hands. I say a quick prayer for him and jump in the shower. While showering, I realize I didn’t give him the financial gift I had on my dresser for him. Oh well, I’ll get it to him eventually.
1pm: S&M take Isaac to the airport. Time is running short. They give Isaac $10 for food, see Isaac through security and watch him walk away. After he’s no longer in site, M realizes its too late and wishes she would’ve given him somebody’s phone number just in case.
730pm: Isaac should be leaving Atlanta for Mexico City.
815pm: I’m sitting in bible study and my phone rings with 3 different calls, none of the numbers I recognize. Thinking it a little odd for the 3 calls, I finally answer my phone. It’s Isaac’s sister in law’s brother. Follow that one? (Isaac was visiting his brother and sister in law in central Iowa before he came to our place. While Isaac was visiting us, his brother and sister in law left for Peru). Isaac’s SIL’s brother, Luis, was trying to make some connections for the family. Isaac had emailed Israel, his brother, about problems with his flight but Israel didn’t fully understand it. Israel was on the computer instant messaging with Luis who lives in MN and asked him to call me. Luis called and I knew nothing.
820pm: I call S&M who are still in the Ames/Des Moines area to ask them what they know about Isaac’s trip. They’re busy with friends so I leave a message.
830ish: I jump on facebook and with some help from google translate, I find out that Isaac had a flight delay and was still at the airport and planning to sleep there. Can S&M go get him? If they catch their message soon enough, maybe they can.
Searching for details about Isaac’s flight continued and included people in 3 different countries. Over the next few hours while sitting at Meg’s house with her laptop in my lap, we try to figure out what’s going on. Waiting for returned phone calls and trying to come up with a plan, I also sit and visit with friends. A few more have showed up now and we chat, look at Kara’s facebook pics of the last week of events and dig around.
1015ish: I facebook Isaac asking him where he’s at but he’s not on facebook so who knows if he’ll get the message. I’m thankful that when we repacked his bags, we had him put the laptop his aunt had him purchase for her in his carry-on. This would be his sole method of communication unless he had money to buy a pre-paid phone card to call Mexico since he doesn’t have phone #’s of anyone in the states.
1030pm: Michelle is leaving Salt Company in Ames, get my message and calls me back. She offers to go get Isaac at the airport. Michelle wishes they’d given Isaac someone’s phone number and more cash for food, etc. Meg wonders if Isaac is in Atlanta since his flight was DELAYED, not cancelled. How can we figure that out??? I tell Michelle maybe he’s not in DesMoines and hang up with her so I can gather some more info.
1106pm: Determined to find out what’s going on, I open my email and search for Isaac’s itinerary that was sent to me back in January. I’m so thankful that I asked for the itinerary and didn’t get the time of his flight back then! With that information, I open Delta’s website and plug in his flight details. It shows it being on time. Then Meg wonders if the date is right. I tell her that I chose today. Ah, today is now Friday if you’re on eastern time! Change the dates and Isaac’s flight info pops up. His flight leaving Des Moines was delayed 3 hours. It did leave and arrive in Atlanta 3 hours late which meant that having only 1 hour layover, he missed his connection to Mexico City.
1115pm: I call Michelle and let her know he should be in Atlanta. The group at Meg’s spends a few minutes trying to think of anyone they might know in Atlanta that would pick Isaac up so he doesn’t have to sleep in the airport. No luck there.
1130pm: I’m tired but adrenaline is moving and I don’t even feel tired. I’m sorry that I didn’t take better care of Isaac. I sent him off with two granola bars, no cash, no contact number, and a short prayer. Good friend that I am.
1145pm: head for home. While driving, I think to let Luis know what I’ve learned so that he can contact Israel in Peru and Israel can contact his dad in Mexico. It’s late for a phone call so I opt for a text message (yes, I actually texted). I wait until I get home to text Luis: “Isaac is stuck in Atlanta. Will fly to Mexico manana.”
Midnight: I crawl in bed and my phone rings with a reply from Luis.
Seriously, how did Isaac get this lucky? Most of us would be ticked about the delays. Some of us would use it to our advantage and let the airline fix what was going on. With the swipe of a credit/debit card, we would have had food to eat, bought a book or game to entertain us, and grabbed out our cell phone to make a phone call. That doesn’t work the same when you’re not an American national and you don’t have American money, carry a US cell phone, or have a credit card. I hope you survived Isaac and are willing to come back again sometime!
This morning I open my email to see a facebook message in my email. It was from Isaac at 1148pm last night. It read: “i have arrive now in the hotel in atlanta...its a lon long day...... i wait for lon time in des moines......but i'm ok.. tomorrow i will leavin at 9 am... thank u for all....bless u“. I’m thankful for the contact from Isaac and decide to spend a few minutes to pray for the rest of his trip! I’m tired too buddy and I didn’t have the day you had yesterday!!!
25 February 2010
- Talking about cultural differences helps both of us understand. – At meal time Isaac’s culture serves their guest in every way: plate of food, drinks, more food, more drink, taking your plates, etc. They don’t expect you to lift a finger. At my house when food was prepared we got it all ready to be served and then let Isaac serve himself. I didn’t want him to feel like he didn’t get served enough or that he was served too much and had to eat it all.
- I pretend to know some Spanish but when it comes to talking to native Spanish speakers, I’m not so sure of myself. – I use lots of Spanish phrases at home with my kids and didn’t do so much of that with Isaac there to judge my inadequacies.
- Language barriers suck. Especially if you know just enough to get by but not have a thorough conversation. – I found myself on more than one occasion not knowing the Spanish translation for a word. Since we were all tired, it was easier to just forget the conversation all together. I also found myself not having in depth conversations with him because of the language barrier.
- I can make “real” Chorizo and Eggs. – The first morning I made this for breakfast, Isaac told me that he felt like he was eating in Mexico. Maybe he was just being nice but it made me feel good.
- Sleep is important. Early mornings and late nights can really wear a person down. No energy = bad attitude for me.
- Community living, at least during supper each night, was very cool. – I loved gathering with like minded friends for a meal, to watch our kids interact, to talk about what God is up to, to sing together, etc.
- playing board games
- ice fishing on the Mississippi
- drove a John Deere tractor
- drinking hot chocolate
- spayed a dog with Ryan (the local vet)
- toured the local hospital (his mom is the chief nurse at a hospital in Mexico City)
- toured the local University where some friends work
- worked out at the ghetto gym with the guys
We all had a great time hanging out with Isaac and each other. As a group we joined together for dinner each night (those who could make it), ate too much food and stayed up late.
This morning we just saw Isaac off. It wasn't sad at all to say goodbye this time because I'm guessing we'll see him in the future. Who knows when that will be. I do know that he's doing a missions project up in the mountains where he's working with livestock and sustainability with the locals. Something that is right up Ryan and my alley as far as education and experience. We'll see.
23 February 2010
> DATE:02/23/2010 12:00 PM
> REASON:No School on Monday 3/1/10 due to State BB @ 11:00am
> MSG:The school day will be made up.
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22 February 2010
My cup overflows. It’s a biblical reference (found in Psalm 23:5) It’s used, in my mind, as an expression of gratitude for God filling my cup. Some days my cup overflows because God continues to pour out His love, grace and wisdom into my life. Sometimes I think it overflows from the living life in constant motion – think swirling effect from stirring your hot chocolate.
Today is a little of both.
Life has been a continual motion lately. Friday I spent 10 hours cleaning my house and running a few errands. It was crazy and I’m so thankful to my mother-in-law for her wonderful help. Friday night the snowfall kept our company from joining us. My husband was sad for me that I’d spent the day cleaning, had rooms and beds prepared, and a dinner party prepared but no one came. I was bummed that our plans didn’t work but thankful for a quieter night and some time to hang out with my parents. Saturday morning we got up early to do a few dishes and hit the road. We met our company half way to exchange “the gift” as Israel referred to him. Isaac, who’s been in Iowa for over two weeks, was finally coming to Elgin! (For those who don’t know, Isaac was the guy who quickly became like a brother to many of us on our Mexico Missions trip last August). We made a quick stop at Upper Iowa University to snap a photo of Isaac with the peacock and continued home. After a totally Americanized Mexican meal of taco salad, we sat down to chat and Kara came over. We chatted for a bit before bundling up and heading out to the sledding hill. Cutting short the sledding, we rushed back to the house to change and jumped in the van to leave. It was then that I heard a voicemail from my mom regarding supper plans. Yikes, two places at once. Not possible. Since we were already in the van with friends, we decided to head to the spaghetti supper – a fundraiser for our friends going on a missions trip to Belize next month. While there Isaac got to visit many of the people that he met in Mexico City. After the kids were covered in spaghetti sauce and the adults had ingested way too many noodles, we headed back out in the lovely above-freezing cold. Made a quick stop at mom’s to see my aunt who arrived from California to visit. Stayed long enough to give her a hug, give her grief and walk back out the door. Back at the house we had 6 or more guests over to play a few games. We played Quelf, which was hilarious and super fun. After that, we played UNO, the game most easily understood by the various cultures sitting around the living room.
Sunday didn’t simmer down. It was another full day. Worship at church was rough but good. Seriously, do my kids really need to act their age? Can’t they be more mature in public places? During the service, Isaac and Shane sang “Inside Out” by Hillsong. While Shane sang in English, Isaac sang in Spanish. It was great to see a brother from another country where we’ve ministered worshipping right along side of us! Realizing I was beyond my max, I opted to take lemonade to the potluck meal that a few select persons served on Sunday. Nice. Because the meal was related to the church business meeting to follow, I sent Isaac home with Kara to hang out. While my friends enjoyed coffee and a game of ____, I moderated a business meeting where I felt like I was also acting as sergeant at arms. Okay, it wasn’t that bad but I did have to put my foot down and be firm multiple times. At one point I even had to inform a member that his blurting things out after I asked him not to was totally inappropriate, twice. Not fun having to talk to someone your elder like that! We left the meeting, grabbed the kids from my moms, said hi to my aunt again and headed home for naps. Though I needed a nap, I got approval from my hubby to leave him with the kids and go hang out at Kara’s for an hour before we had supper plans. It was a long hour, whoops, and I stopped at the house long enough to use the bathroom, remove my burning contacts, pick up Bethany and walk back out the door. At supper, we gathered with the Jensen’s at their home full of friends. It was great to hang out, chit chat, take some pictures, sing some worship songs in Spanish and English and chase kids around. As the night started winding down, I was more than ready to hit the sack!
In all of that, you might see why I had the overflowing cup based on the constant motion. But it was so much more than that. My cup has been overflowing with things that I’m reading as I journey with Paul and other committed guys through the book of Acts. It’s been overflowing as Ryan pours his love out on our family. It’s been overflowing as I’ve gotten used to eating smaller, healthier portions and feel better about myself. It’s been overflowing as I visit with people who are passionate about pursuing Christ. My cup has been overflowing as our old Mexico Missions Team and a few other like-minded friends have been gathering daily to hang out. This morning I read www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com and it was a difficult but good reminder of where I want to be in life. I don’t want to be the American she refers to in her post – the person who merely says that I’d be willing to do it in a heartbeat. I want to be the person who acts on it. As I came to work, I kept that mental picture of the overflowing cup. How can I work with purpose? How can I pour into someone else’s life? Can I do that while at work?
God, I don’t know where we’ll be 10 years from now. My prayer today is that we’ll be serving faithful, giving EVERYTHING, and growing to be more like you. As the God who created everything, Who cares about the intimate and mundane details of my life (yes God, another gray hair… Happy 30th to me) God my hearts desire is to serve others. God would I be a tool for You in the small things so that You can trust me. Similar to Paul, I don’t want the damnation of others on my conscious because I wanted to live comfortably! And in so doing, would you open doors of opportunities to be used by you and SLAM shut doors that would be of selfish desire on my part.
21 February 2010
17 February 2010
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16 February 2010
Saturday while Michelle and I grocery shopped, Kara began baking desserts and Jessica watched Kara's son and my kids. Saturday night Diane and JB joined me at the church to wash the stem ware and the china while Ryan was at home marinating pork loins and making raspberry vinaigrette.
Sunday after church we dropped our kids off at my parents for a movie and popcorn party and began the rush to get things done. Tracy and Ali peeled 15 pounds of potatoes before I got back to the church. We then were joined by Diane, JB and Jessica for set up. Between the six of us, we got the tables set up, covered, and set for each guest. M&M's were an added touch which seemed to be a great snack for those of us settting up.
Meanwhile Ryan peeled the rest of the potatoes and moved outside to cook potatoes and pork loin. By this point I'd made multiple trips to the store: grab lunch, back to get batteries for the grill starter and something else. Kristen showed up and some time in there they began candying the pecans for the salad and did LOTS of stirring. It all kind of blurs together but I think JB and I were setting up the lighting while Michelle was doing dishes. The church was out of dish soap and I made trip #3 to the store while Jessica ran home to get her slicer. Ryan came in with the finished potatoes and I heard him say he didn't think he had enough. Seriously, it was 20 pounds of potatoes. Apparently cooking them in the turkey fryer (it was clean people) got nice and warm and they disintegrated into the water. His potatoes looked like potato soup and were reduced to about 5 pounds of potatoes. To the store again and this time I drove. More potatoes were peeled, Ryan was grilling, Michelle was doing dishes and we were right on track.
I went to the bathroom to change out of my grubby clothes but had forgotten a camisole to go underneath. Great. Asking Ryan if the shirt was too low cut, all of us ladies got a realistic lesson in how guys think. Kendra ran home and got me a camisole and I headed back to the bathroom to get ready. Back in the kitchen Spenser and Kendra were there to get the salad ready. It looked super yummy and I realized much later when I sat down to eat that I forgot to have them put the crumbled goat cheese on! Oops.
Shortly after that, our drivers (Kendra, Pastor Lee and Spenser) headed out to get a few of the ladies. I headed outside to greet the ladies as they arrived at the church.
We had 25 women join us for supper. They were thrilled to be there. Down the steps they were again greeted by some friends who took their coats. As they removed their coats, in front of them was a table full of roses donated in secret - one for each lady that came.
They sat at the tables and began chatting away with their neighbors, friends, and those who were there to serve them. I welcome the ladies and prayed before we served them. Salad was served first. Organic greens from the local food co-op topped with crumbled bacon, purple onion, candied pecans (they will stick to wax paper if you bake them - we found out), and home-made raspberry vinaigrette.
While they were enjoying the wonderful flavors of the salad, we were preparing the main dish. While some cleared the salad plates, others refilled drinks and served the main dish. We enjoyed Pork Loin grilled by Ryan, green beans prepared with bacon, garlic and spices by my folks, and mashed potatoes prepared by Ryan.
While ladies were enjoying their food, and servers were clearing plates and chatting, Shane and John were providing background music. Considering my lack of communication with Shane, this was perfect. Shane and John were amazing as they played guitar, mandolin and even the harmonica. It was lovely.
After supper dishes were cleared, the guys took a break to eat and the ladies each had a chance to share their favorite thing of the year. This sounds really corny to me and I wish I could come up with something better. But honestly, I think they love sharing so it works out well.
By time we were done with sharing, dessert began coming out of the kitchen. Kara is wonderful at baking. She prepared two kinds of truffles, "X", "O", and heart sugar cookies that were amazing. Nothing simple from Kara. By time dessert was served, I think us volunteers had the extra desserts polished off!
After dessert, we did some more visiting before the ladies picked their rose and got ready to go home.
It was a lovely evening. I'm so incredibly thankful that I could serve in such a small way in my community. I'm blessed beyond measure for my friends who helped out. Many hands make light work! For those who helped out financially, those who shopped, watched kids, set up, cooked, baked, served, photographed, cleaned-up and whatever else people did. I can't wait for next year!!!
14 February 2010
- Bethany got a Vday card from Ryan's parents. She loved it! As soon as she woke up Saturday, she sat up and reached for her card!
- Prayer meeting at church and I trusted my kids in the nursery by themselves. Bethany needed some water in her the sink of the play kitchen and improvised. I walked in to find her juicy juice ALL OVER the place. Fun mess to clean up.
- Fun parent moment: during the offerring at church Scott did NOT want to give his money to God like he normally does. He informed us loud and clear that he wanted to keep his dollar to buy himself a toy. Nice.
- Cooking 20# of potatoes that mostly disentegrated and ended up with about 4 pounds of potatoes and another trip to the grocery store.
- Not quite a full 360 on the snow covered driveway just before the pond. Ended up being about a 270 circle with the pond on one side and a steep drop off on the other. Boy am I glad for snow banks stopping us!
- Good time with friends for two days but no housework done
- Oreo truffles... yummy!
- Sweetheart Supper with 25 ladies and ~15 friends to help. Awesome! More on this later when I get pics to post with it.
- More snow and a slow drive home!
12 February 2010
11 February 2010
The longer version of the video is just over an hour and is tough to watch but good to know. I want real life stuff like this to affect me, to change the way I live. I've personally found that watching shows like CSI, NCIS, etc hardens my heart to the realities of things going on in our world. Seeing people dead on the street on a video is too normal to me. Though this idea is weighing heavy on my heart, its not the point of my post.
As I watched the video 32 hours: the church in haiti done by Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church, I was amazed at what I saw. The earthquake was devastating. But the hardest part for me to swallow is that it will only get worse. A few thoughts that stuck with me last night are:
- There is no police, no system of protection.
- What do you do with 4-story structures that need to be completely demolished. Where does the rubble go?
- People can't sleep on the street forever.
- People are shooting people over a gallon of clean water.
- People are digging out dead bodies with their bare hands (covered by bags because they don't have gloves). The wallets, shoes, belts (and other useful items) are removed and re-used because people don't have that stuff.
- I have multiples of each of the items mentioned above.
- Where do people sleep when the rainy season comes NEXT month?
- Do the people know how to feed themselves? Grow a garden? What kind of quality soil do they have in the country side?
I prayed last night that this would be on my heart enough that it would change me. That I would act differently, do something. Right now that something is prayer and finances. Oh Lord, would I be diligent to pray for and speak in behalf of YOUR children. Like Mark Driscoll said on the video, they too are image bearers of Christ... laying dead in the street. How can that be okay?
Take a coffee break and watch this video:
We made snow angels, played on the swing set, cleaned the snow off the fort, tromped through the snow, and sledded down the hill... all in about 30 minutes. Ryan came home in time to take one long ride down the hill on the sled with Scott. Then we headed back to the house... Bethany running down the driveway and loving every moment of stepping in the snow and Scott getting a ride back in the sled.
We got back to the house about 30 minutes before we needed to leave for bible study. No supper, no babysitter but we had fun. Fortunately Ryan thought about supper and brought pizza home and our neighbors were willing to keep the kids (which my kids LOVE).
Nice. I love when things fall into place like that!
10 February 2010
08 February 2010
Big snow storm supposed to hit here. My all day meeting for tomorrow is cancelled. I brought work home with me cause I'm so behind at the office. Maybe we will get snowed in tonight. Who knows. I could really use to sleep in tomorrow so I will be taking a benadryl tonight which will help me sleep and help with the itch :)
Warning: I'm about to be pretty transparent below. Don't read if you don't want to know!
I spent some time with my favorite lady doctor on Thursday because of a lump in my breast. This is news is not new at all. However, the last month the lump has been tender. If I happen to get bumped playing with the kids, it hurts! Dr. Ryan thought I should have an ultrasound done to make sure what was going on. Friday the hospital called to give me an appointment for Monday.
Moving forward with the weekend, on Friday night Scott developed a fever of 102+. With advil, we could drop his fever but after 2 hours it started to creep back up. Saturday I noticed a heat rash. The kid is warm bodied so a temp easily means a heat rash for him. Then I watch him like a hawk to make sure he doesn't have another random seizure. Sunday was the same. The rash wasn't going away. I would bathe him in cool water, put some hydrocortisone on the worst spots, and lotion him up. Still no improvement. I stayed home with Scott during church and then when Ryan came home, I headed to the church for a meeting.
Now I was out and about and fighting a cold myself, taking care of a sick kiddo and preparing for a Superbowl party. Do I cancel the party? Nah, Scott would be happy to hang out in our bedroom away from guests if I would turn on a movie. I got home from church a short bit before guests arrived. Fortunately the house was kinda sorta picked up.
Scott was sick. I was run down but we were having fun with friends. I gave Scott motrin at 6pm and it finally kicked his fever. I checked him when I put him to bed, no fever. I checked him twice during the night, no fever. Whew. We're finally done!
Not so much. This morning Scott's heat rash was still there. Ryan and I agreed that we should at least get it checked out. But wait, I also have an appointment with the time yet to be determined. I took a quick shower while the kids ate and got ready to head out the door. The phone rang at least 10 different times. Finally I quit answering it and managed to get out the door to drop Bethany off at my mom's and head West.
I had my appointment which ended up being nothing! Praise the Lord. A lump for one month that was sore EVERY single day and this morning it was gone. Thank you Lord. After the appointment, I met Ryan and Scott for a quick bite at Subway. Scott looks horrible and Ryan will be taking him into the doctor shortly. What's your guess as to what's going on?
I'm glad we're sick this week. Next week is the Sweetheart Supper. And the week after that is when Isaac comes up here to stay? Lord, would you give us good health and sustain us in the coming weeks!
07 February 2010
06 February 2010
The emotions are many today.
Today I will fill my day with friends for at least two hours as we help some good friends of ours raise support for their upcoming mission trip to Belize.
03 February 2010
Because I'm out of touch with apple products, I'm trying to determine if an iTouch is really for me. I like the idea of more space so I can hold more music and more podcasts. I like the idea of wifi. What I'm unsure of is how the apps work. And what apps might be good for me.
So here's my questions for you:
- What can you tell me about the different apps? How do they work? How much space do they take, or better said, how many can you have on your iTouch?
- What apps do you think I would be interested in having?
- Is there only the one place to get apps - the apple apps store?
02 February 2010
Whew, will I be glad when February blows by, the weather turns warmer, and I manage to forget that I'm turning 30 this year. Does this mean I officially join the "adult" club?