Saturday, April 02, 2005

Another Family Update

Gary isn't scheduled to fly back from San Francisco until tonight but he said he might try to get on an earlier flight. I should mow the lawn--but isn't that supposed to be his job?

I got a good email from Andrew this morning. He has been working with a person from USAID in their AIDS/HIV section to make some progress on his project. He said he has been looking for new office space and a house to live in (he's been in a hotel kind of arrangement for all these months). He said last night the Leipizig Youth Sypmhony was in Addis and played for the 100 year anniversary of Ethiopia and German diplomatic relations. There was an Ethiopian piano player who played with them, Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2.

Reports from Rachel and her student teaching continue to be good. Of course, it will get harder when she has to actually be in charge for two weeks, so keep praying for her. She is starting to think about a job for next year. It is kind of complicated because she won't have any certification until June, and then she won't have a Texas certification until sometime after that, but the Texas teacher job fairs are in April and May and is really too busy and it is too hard for her to get here for them. Pray she will have clear guidance in thinking about a job.

David called a couple times this week and you won't believe what he is thinking about doing--buying a house! Apparently some of the realtors in Houston work with MD and MD/PhD students to sell them condos or small houses. Of course, he has no downpayment money and we have none to lend him (though the realtor told him often parents help with the down payment). So he is investigating what he might be able to do with no or tiny down payment. It may not be possible, but I told him to go for it if he can, since he would be paying a lot of rent over the next 7 years.

My mom now has tickets to Dallas in May. She is coming for two weeks over the time of Rachel's graduation. And cousin April plans to pass through Dallas then too--she's going to be a camp counselor at a camp near Austin for the summer. It will be nice to see her.

Friday, April 01, 2005

How Much is a Missionary Worth?

Today I filled out the annual paperwork that determines how much money we are "supposed" to get for our income. This a a complicated, 4-page form that includes information on how much we need to live on in the areas of housing, transporation, insurance, taxes (including 15% SS taxes), ministry expenses, and children as well as a few other things. We all know that children are expensive, and now that mine are (almost) all grown up, we no longer include them on this form. Once the math was done the form said that up through May 31 our family needs $72,000 per year to live on, but starting June 1st, we will need $35,000 to live on. Wow, those kids eat a lot!

Truth be told, this annual form serves as a way for us to estimate our expenses, but other than that, it has little bearing on reality.

Today I'm sad to hear this news of our colleagues. I didn't know them personally, but I expect they were worth a lot.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Update on the Kids

No new birds to report on today, so I'll give a chickadee report.

Andrew is doing well in Ethiopia. He was recently struggling with some roadblocks, and though they haven't been resolved entirely, he has found new freedom in finding ways to solve the problems, so that is encouraging him to carry on. He said they are looking at new office space, and he recently interviewed someone who will work for him. He is still selling baseball and U2 tickets on ebay like a crazy man, and I'm mailing them out for him, like an even crazier woman.

Rachel continues to like her 2nd grade class. It is so nice to see her really enjoying her student teaching. She is starting to prepare for the two weeks where she will be in charge of the entire class by herself. She also sent me email today saying she really liked the CD I bought for her for Easter, Casting Crowns . My favorite song on it is "The Voice of Truth."

I had a nice chat with David tonight. He took half a day off work and visited with some of the Taylor band who were in town on spring tour. He got to see a couple of the people he went to Ireland with. He also said he bought an espresso machine off of eBay, so now he doesn't have to pay $3 a cup at Starbucks.

Lord, they are all a joy and a blessing to me. I thank you for them.

Monday, March 28, 2005


Crow Posted by Hello

Crows are not beautiful and they don't come to my feeder very often, but one was there today.

Does anyone want to live next to me? Our neighbors have decided to move to Kansas and asked if we know anyone who wants to buy a house. It is an older house, but the neighbors are great :-)

Sunday, March 27, 2005


Easter Dinner Posted by Hello

Easter was a blessed day, starting with the Easter Song by the 2nd Chapter of Acts, followed by a good church service where the pastor baptized his own teenaged daughter, followed by a nice dinner with friends.

It was nice having Rachel home again. She flew both ways and was delayed both flights, but we chalk it up to her education in how life works.