30 April 2010
28 April 2010
We've seen some other cool things too. The Anne Frank house was pretty cool. Reminded me a lot of the Holocaust Museum. Only this was the actual place they hid out and still has the pictures she glued to the wall, etc. We didn't get any pics there but it was very humbling for me.
We also saw the Palace (I'm sure this isn't the real name). It was beautiful and the details of their work was impressive.
And we went to this really old church that has been running since 1605. It was beautiful too and had some rich, cool history. One thing that we found interesting is that people were buried in the floor so the concrete slabs you were walking over, were the graves of people.
This morning when I was awake at 5am and chatting on FB with Chrissy, I shared with her a little else of what we've seen. It just dumbfounds me. We were in and out of a couple of open air markets and souvineer shops. The market was cool and I really wanted to buy and eat some fruit. The souvineer shops surprised me. Apparently Amsterdam is known for and takes pride in their prostitutes, marijuana and chocolate covered male anatomy. The souvineers bragged of this stuff... not something I want to take home to my children but thanks anyway. The other option for gifts has been wooden clogs and or soccer jersies. So far we haven't purchased anything besides our food and drinks.
It's common practice here to sit on a terrace (patio) and have a drink and people watch. I wonder if anyone works. We'd walk a while and then stop for a refreshment. A 10-ounce bottle of coke or water runs almost $2.75 in USD. I've debated on buying a soccer jersey but they run 35 euro (almost $50 USD). That's just crazy. This tight budgeted momma would way rather buying things that cost way less in Ethiopia!!!
Speaking of Ethiopia, in just 25 hours, we'll be on a plane heading to Et. So exciting. It has been fun to get to know Shonda and Travis a little more. We didn't see them yesterday after checking into our hotels but we plan to get together with them this morning and spend part or all of the day together. Tomorrow night we'll get to meet up with Jamey and Andrew which is way exciting!
27 April 2010
We enjoyed our first breakfast in the Netherlands - simple and quick. Headed out with a camera in tow and hoping we don't get lost!
Met up with Shonda and Travis from www.godwiilladd.blogspot.com in Detroit. They were in the seats behind us... hoping we can connect with them while here so we can hang out some more.
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26 April 2010
24 April 2010
I also love those in our small group bible study that don't have kids.
Today I'm especially thankful for one of them who came over and helped me with my flat tire last night when I was on my way to the women's retreat. He was there before Ryan could get there and didn't mind getting his hands and clothes all dirty to help me out. I love that we're all a family like that... and that those 3 guys (another friend came too since I was at his house) dealt with my tricky spare tire while I left and rode with Tracy to the retreat.
23 April 2010
- Thanks to Denise: for being patient and allowing me to be working on bags while visiting. And also for getting the bags to Janel.
- Thanks to Ryan for putting the tags on and for sewing one of the edges of a bag (he's a rockstar with a sewing machine).
- Thanks to Aunt Janie for helping with cutting fabric and purchasing some of the canvas.
- Thanks to mom for letting me use her sewing room and machines when I didn't want to work at home.
- Thanks to my mother in law for helping and sharing some cute fabric.
- Thanks to Mabels Labels for donating the awesome tags that are associated with each bag.
When all was said and done last night, I had 24 completed bags all looking different. I have been so blessed to make them for such a good cause. It has me thinking of a new little project... I'm considering making more bags. My sewing room will have to get moved from the dining room to the spare bedroom but it would work. I'd like to make and sell bags. For each bag I sell, I'll donate one to someone in need. If I go ahead and pursue this idea, you'll hear from me!
20 April 2010
On Sunday he asked me if I would make him a little something for our trip to hang around his neck and hold his passport. I told him that I could but that I felt like I had 100 other things to do so I didn't want to commit to making one. Shortly after that conversation I left the house for a few hours. When I came back home, my manly and handsome hubby proudly showed me the little something that HE sewed together to hang around his neck and hold his passport. I was super impressed!!!
He's really growing leaps and bounds in multiple areas. He loves to pick out his own clothes and get dressed like a big boy (yes, he's almost 5 and we've babied him a little). This morning he came down stairs dressed on his own. From the bathroom, I heard Ryan ask "honey, did you tell him he could wear sweats?" I laughed and confirmed that I did indeed tell our son to pick out his own clothes. I'd seen the light cotton pants with the stripe down the side that he laid out on his bed. What I hadn't seen was the thick striped shirt that he grabbed to go with it. It's a school day today. Oh dear!
And a little something about Bethany so she doesn't feel left out:
this child is testing my limits but she is precious... how can those two things go together? She's solid in her independence yet she wants me to carry her around and snuggle her at night... how do those things go together? She's beautiful but can show one mean face. Yes that's my daughter and it all goes together for her. Bethany's world is about to get rocked when Judah comes home and she knows it!!!
18 April 2010
I haven't even pulled the suit cases out of the spare bedroom closet yet. In fact, when I cleaned the spare bedroom before church (amazing what you can get done when your kids are gone), I piled some more blankets in front of said suit cases. We have company coming this week and I figured she doesn't need all the winter blankets and I don't need to be packing while she's here. In the meantime, the corner of our sitting room (which still isn't put back together following the make-over) is being taken over with supplies for donations and for our use and consumption while gone. Pack light, pack light, pack light... I gotta get this in my head!
I did manage to borrow a few suit cases from some dear friends. I borrowed her money belt too. I'm so glad they're such a giving family. We don't have luggage that we need. I also plan to borrow the power adapter/converter from another friend which saves me some cash (thank you Jess). Now all I need is to come up with a GPS unit so I can GPS our trip and be able to plot it on a map. Anyone have a GPS they'll let us borrow?
16 April 2010
I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve and I think that's increased in the last few days. God's also been softening my heart in some areas. Last night I felt so broken as I heard about a guy who's battling cancer and has a young family. I couldn't imagine what they're going through. Today, they continue to be on my mind as I pray for them.
It was an interesting day at the office. Business interspersed with time for prayer and encouragement. One guy in my office today shared with me about doing missions work in Cuba. How cool is that!?!? It's been a good time of prayer and reflection for several people today including Ryan's grandpa who had a successful gall stone removal, my little buddy M who had his adnoids and tonsils removed, my friend J who's battling and beating cancer.
I'm so thankful that we have a God who listens to our prayers.
12 April 2010
In our small group bible study, we start our evenings with a hi/low. I wanted to share with you my hi-low emotional rollercoaster for today and ask for prayer.
Low: Friday several families were contacted by Holt about being in the travel group for the first week of may. We were not contacted. I was a bit dissapointed but trusting in God's timing and thankful for how He has provided.
Hi: At 5pm, I sent an email asking a few people to pray about our travel opportunities and taking a friend with us. I hit send and refreshed my inbox and had an email from our agency. We are in the travel group for the first week of May!
I'm so excited my heart is pounding out of my chest and I can hardly type! We're going to Ethiopia. And this is no April Fool's joke! (I told my small group that we were going on April Fools). My emotions are all over the place. I was and am trusting in God's timing. I had resigned myself to not travelling in the first week and was thrilled with the possibility of Kara travelling with us (she can't go the first week), getting to go on a free mini-vacation to the Dells (scheduled for May 6th), and having more time to prepare.
Today is the 12th. We have to be in Addis on the 29th. That's 17 days people. Pray for us please... it will be a wild two weeks!!! Okay, now I have to go read the email from Holt about the actual travel :)
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08 April 2010
06 April 2010
Speaking of forgetting things, don't forget to
Buy Quilt Raffle Tickets online at
to help support our Ethiopian Adoption.
$1 buys 1 ticket
$50 buys 55 tickets
$100 buys 115 tickets
Last week I traded a haircut for that dollar value of tickets. What a great idea! If you would like to trade for tickets, I will pay the dollar value of your item for tickets and put your name on them!
The New Busy is not the too busy. Combine all your e-mail accounts with Hotmail. Get busy.
05 April 2010
Here's a simple recipe: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/easy-oreo-truffles-95085.aspx. The only thing I do a little differently is use chocolate almond bark (not white chocolate as shown in the above pic). If you google oreo balls or oreo truffles, you'll come up with lots of recipes
04 April 2010
I typically love to play and joke. It's my nature. But I've also been trying to hold my tongue. The combination of not feeling well (sinus infection???) and watching my words affected my overall attitude.
I'm learning that I have too much going on. I'm trying to cut back some. It's hard. Ryan reminded me last night that I love to do for people even when it requires me to sacrifice myself. But how much sacrifice can I give before I give too much? At one point do I take care of me?
I want to have a warm and welcome home. It's warm and I'd gladly welcome people in but I'm so behind on keeping my home, that I haven't invited anyone. Last week I made an effort to serve my hubby by making him supper. This too came with a price because after dinner I was too tired to do anything else. Laundry is still on the couch, the kids' rooms still aren't completely organized, I still have journey bags to finish, etc.
Oh how I could use a weekend to be home and do those things. But as usual, our weekends go by so quickly when you're doing a million things. Maybe I need to learn how to say "not right now, I need some time to keep my home healthy". I'd like to get back to playing my guitar, playing outside, and having clean home. Is that so much to ask?
02 April 2010
Friday we had a wind/rain storm around here. The protective netting acts like a sail in the wind. Our trampoline sailed away on Friday. Ryan found it down by the barns where it got caught on a "t" post. Ryan managed to drag it back up the hill to the house. The netting is destroyed but hopefully the trampoline itself can be salvaged. Scott cried and cried about it because the whole way home we'd talked about playing on the trampoline while I fixed supper.
Darn thing. It was just a few weeks old and provides lots of exercise and entertainment for my kiddos! Hopefully we get it back to working or get a new one quickly!
Mexico Team together again... in the US this time.
Playing in the snow, I have a wonderfully amazing hubby who carries me when I'm weak... or lazy :)