Monday, August 20, 2007

And He Is Off......To School

We sent our little boy to kindergarten today....yes he is only 4. It is one of those strange parent moments where your heart couldn't feel prouder...and yet so full and almost sad at the same time. I can't help but wonder why I am supposed to feel "ready" to pass him on to be given influence, care and direction by someone else for over 25 hours a week. That is a lot of time. And yet I also know it is an important step for him - that he will learn and grow and mature in ways that he wouldn't if he didn't head off to school. Good and sometimes difficult life lessons await him. I am excited for the way his mind and heart will stretch and grow from experiencing life in a classroom, making new friends, being creative and learning about our world. And it makes me feel all the more determined to heighten our influence on him with God, building character and values into his mind and heart.

Our day was good. Reece was excited this morning and got ready for his first real encounter with his new school. He thoughtfully said good-bye to his little brothers, reminding them he would be back to play with them, and wished us all a good day. He had a little bit of a difficult time being left, but we knew he would be okay once we left the scene. And that is what happened. When we arrived to pick him up he had a big smile on his face and shared with us the good things and the fun stuff he got to do. He especially loved recess as he got to play with Kate and Caleb. I am proud of him....and thankful that this first day is over.

I know that all parents believe this about their children but I will say it anyway - Reece is a special kid. I really think he "gets it". Although he did shed a few tears when I left him this morning I asked him what enabled him to stop crying and enjoy his day. His response tonight was: "God just helped me". He is memorizing Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and courageous and do not be afraid. The Lord your God goes with you wherever you go". I thank God tonight that His Word is taking root in his young heart. Mold him, Father, into a boy and a man after your heart.

Fun Family Time Before School Begins!

We decided to enjoy some family fun time at a park in the north of the city before Reece heads off to school. We were very excited to find this very modern and fun playground (I say that because it is the only one I have seen in all of the city - most are very old and basic playground equipment - and with a family of active little boys we consider it a very worthwhile drive, even though it is almost an hour away, depending on traffic! one tends to do things out of the "norm" when you live in a foreign country) The kids had soooooo much fun and climbed, ran, hung and slid their little hearts out! Lots of laughs and smiles to mark this day!

Friday, August 17, 2007

New Opportunities

We have a lot of change going on around here. As "summer" draws to a close we are excited to have our entire mission team back together. We have all taken furlough and vacation at different times over the past months so it seems like it has been awhile since we have all been together. It will be really good to set new goals together for the work and to take action on reaching more people in the upcoming months. As always, we solicit your support through prayer - we know God desires to see His Kingdom grow and we know He is already at work in people's lives - we ask Him to open our eyes and lead us to new opportunities!

We are about to send our little 4 year old boy to Kindergarten. As you might remember, Reece began school last year - attending 2 days a week. This year he will enter Kinder2 at a new school called Redlands. He will go Monday through Friday 8:30 - 2:00 - a big jump in our minds...and especially hearts. Yes, we are excited for him but I also feel a little teary to see him spend such a large chunk of his day under someone elses care and influence. I believe he is going to do great - he loves to learn and we are really happy with his school. Last night we had a teacher/parent meeting to introduce us to the new school year. We met his teacher - Miss Yuri - and I will be honest, my heart sank when we spoke with her because she didn't seem very warm and friendly - like you would want in a Kindergarten teacher(yes, I will admit I have pretty high standards and expectations for the teacher who is going to have my son). However, first impressions are not always right, thankfully. We went to the school today to show Reece his classroom, etc.. and she was really nice and I think Reece is going to love her. I breathed a sigh of relief! Benjy and I believe this school and its approach to education, children, process, learning, and partnering with the important education already happening at home will be a really good fit for our life and family philosophy. The other really neat thing is that we found out that the school Reece attended last year, called ALFA, has closed down. As a result several of the families from ALFA will be attending Redlands with Reece this year. His favorite little friend from last year will be in his class again - her name is Marifer. Zeidi (pronounced Sadie) is the daughter of our house church leaders - and she also will be in Reece's class. And our teammates James, and Erin are sending their kids, Kate and Caleb to this school as well. So...I thank God today for little blessings like that - I think it will be really good for Reece to have some friends in his school right off the bat, even though I know he will also make many more. Pray for his first day on Monday - that we can all be brave and enjoy this new stage of life. Also pray that God might create some new family friendships through this school experience.

The other big change happening around here is that we are moving! We have found a different home that is a lot of what we have been looking for. It has been our desire for several months now to move out of this house for a number of reasons. Now that our contract expired we have that opportunity. I guess being on the move is kind of part of rental life in a foreign country. We are thankful for this home - we have been in it for 3 years - and it has been the place of so much of our families growth - arrivals of both Chase and Pierce - lots of new ages and stages of our children - lots of growth and changes in us as people and missionaries. The walls of this home have witnessed a lot and the sappy side of me is a little sad to say good-bye. A house is more than just a house and even though we are just is the place where the most significant part of our lives occurs - the growing of our marriage, the raising of our boys to know and love Jesus, hospitality to friends, our personal walks with our God, and on and on. I pray that we can accomplish great things in these areas in the our new home as well. It should be a good place for us. It is a lot safer as it has a 24 hour guard at the gate, and it will provide a lot of opportunities for the kids to play and ride their bikes with other kids right there in the gated community. We believe and pray that we will build new realtionships with other families and look forward to that. Please pray for new opportunities in this neighborhood. And please know you are more than welcome - we would absolutely love to have you!

I should sign off for now. Would love a hand with if you just happen to be in the area...drop me a line and I will gladly put ya to work!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Recent Milestones!!!

We are proud of our boys and the big steps they have accomplished this past week or so!

Reece can tie his own shoes!!! I was suprised at how quickly he picked up on it - I showed him a few times and he took off with it. It seems that with every new thing these little guys learn, the more help it is for me in trying to get three kids out of the house!

And Chaser is completely potty trained! Yay! He fought it the first day or two but then grabbed a hold of it and there was no turning back. So - no more diapers for him! He is officially a "big boy".

And Pierce - well, nothing too new with him...but he is 5 months today and that in itself is hard to believe!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Prayer Request

I am excited to say that we (our mission team) had a really encouraging conversation this past week - sharing ideas with one another and proclaiming ways that God is at work in different relationships with people in our lives. We decided to search for a way to bring all of the individual opportunities together in some way - the specifics are yet to be determined. We are praying for guidance and for wisdom as we seek to lead people towards another step in their pursuit of Christ. Please join us in prayer - that God would enlighten us with fresh persectives and new ideas that would effectively accomplish our purpose here: to make more disciples. Here are a few specific names to bring before the Father: Gerardo, Dulce, Javier, Laura, Angelina, Jorge, Erika, Veronica.

Thank you!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

An Ode To Cousins

When I was young we were always surrounded by a whole lot of cousins. Both of my parents came from larger families and so there never was a shortage of cousins to play with! Lots of good memories. I am thankful that my 3 boys have cousins their ages too. There is just something special about seeing your kids connect with, make friends, and play with their cousins. Although we don't get to see them often enough - we make the most of it when we get to be together. Mackenzie, Kalen, Camrynne, Caden and Tabor, and soon to be baby Gowens - we love you and thank you for the special place you hold in our hearts!!!