Saturday, February 04, 2006

Baby Pictures--Part 2 of 3 (Rachel)

Rachel's first two and a half years were spent in the Solomon Islands. (My mind is flooded with things I could say about being pregnant and giving birth in a primitive country, but I won't, because I only tell that story to people who love me.) Even though Rachel weighed only 2690 grams, our village friends said, "She looks so healthy. She has fat papaya legs just like her mama!"

Shortly after her birth we moved to the provincial capital city and lived in a real house (with cupboards, electricity and plumbing, though no hot water). Rachel started wearing glasses at the age of one, little glasses tied on to her head with a ribbon. Though she didn't learn to walk until she was three, she had no trouble climbing. Rachel was a happy baby who hardly ever cried.

This one of my favorite photos of Rachel, because it shows her as an Early Childhood Educator (that's what they call teachers when you major in Education at college). Speaking of teachers, Rachel is still looking for a teaching job, so prayers for her are appreciated. She has had one good interview at a local Christian school, but there are no openings there at this time. She also has her second of two Texas Teacher Certification exams two weeks from today.

Even though she doesn't yet have a real job, Rachel has been keeping herself busy this past week, recently unveiling her Xanga blog and her website. I helped her put the website home page together, while she used Picasa to organize the photos. Stop by and sign one of her guestbooks if you're so inclined.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Car Repairs, Documents, Meetings

Our van has been leaking power steering fluid for quite some time. It got so bad we just had to deal with it this past week. That, and the brakes were making some kind of pulsing. And it needed an oil change too. Since we only have one car, our kind coworkers lent us their gigantic 20 year old pickup truck that gets 8 mpg. Luckily, I only had to make one trip to the grocery store before our van was repaired.

The van needed a new rack and pinion, what ever that is, and the front brake rotors turned, what ever they are. It cost less than buying a new van, and it is running well again, so I'm happy. We'd like to not have to buy a different car for at least another year or two.

Other very good news: my phone call to a certain unnamed country's embassy in Washington DC has resulting in the overnight document getting opened and returned to me one month later. Now I need to send it to Andrew along with over $400 worth of receipts for expenses it has cost me to get all the necessary stamps, signatures, stickers, impressions, certifications, authentications, verifications, translations and red tape.

My coworker and I kept busy at the office this week hosting a meeting of about 12 folks from around the world, folks from various agencies who translate or distribute the Bible. The poor guy from Sri Lanka they almost wouldn't let into the country. I put on a pathetic cereal and bagel breakfast this morning for those of the group staying in the dorm, but many didn't show up since they were still full from eating at Los Lupes last night. Providing snacks for coffee break afforded me the excuse to make some chocolate chip cookies, half of which are still in the freezer.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Baby Pictures -- Part 1 of 3 (Andrew)

A couple weeks ago Ma Hoyt gave me the idea that I would do my kids a favor by posting baby pictures of them on my blog. She is brilliant, I must say! It took me a while to gather up the courage, but here is the first post of three (that being all the kids I have), showcasing those beautiful children of mine.

Not that Andrew's baby face wasn't just adorable, but this photo is, well, uniquely Andrew. It wasn't taken when he was a baby, but presumably if it were, it would look the same. Isn't biology class fun??

When Andrew was 9 months old we went to live in a village on the island of Malaita in the Solomon Islands where they spoke To'abaita. We were so lucky to have a baby then, because he helped us to fit in. And, as you'll notice in this photo, he had no trouble fitting in himself. Can you figure out which one is Andrew? The other two are named Ebe and Meifuna. Andrew was slow to learn to walk because our friends and neighbors would never let his feet touch the ground since they all wanted to carry him. I truly believe that all the love and overt attention that was lavished upon him from so many people in these early years is what gave him his great personality.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

More Fraud, More Red Tape

I'm a little grumpy today. I'm a cosigner on Andrew's bank accounts. He has been getting hit repeatedly by fraudulent transactions. My job is to contact the bank to report them, then fill out paperwork and have it notarized, so he can get his money back. Today he decided he had to close the account which keeps being hit, but the problem with that is all the valid electronic charges made to that account have to be rerouted to a new account before the old one can be closed. It has been a real pain in the rear.

I'm also still working on getting Andrew and Laura's marriage license through the hoops. I called a certain country's embassy today and heard the good and bad news: the good news--they found the envelope (which had been delivered Jan4). The bad news--they hadn't opened it yet. I spoke with the man for a few minutes, and he told me to phone back tomorrow morning. So I will.

I'm also a little grumpy about our car. Tomorrow it goes in the shop to have the leaking power steering fixed, the brakes fixed, the oil changed. I hope the car is worth the expense. It is annoying to only have one car at times like this.

Monday, January 30, 2006


I'm in a pensive mood at the moment, feeling a little sad, drinking a cup of hot, black chai.

I want to talk about a situation, but it is possible some of the principals in my situation would read this blog (possible, but not likely), so forgive me if this post is written using in certain generalities.

I had an interesting encounter with a fellow believer last week that I feel was of God. The strong tug in my heart to respond to an email, the timing of an unexpected phone call from this person, etc., made me feel God was there. I sent a reply to my friend and today got another phone call from her. My friend was cordial enough, but definitely not in agreement with what I said. She is hurting because her child is marrying someone they don't approve of, but even more, she is hurting because there is broken fellowship between her and her child.

Were I in that situation, I would be hurting too. Her issue is important and I don't want to make light of it, but broken fellowship with a child would be very important.

As a parent we just love our kids so much, we pray for them so much, we want the best for them, we are happy when they are happy and we hurt when they hurt. But that whole sentence implies we actually know what is going on with our kids. And that implies communication. Communication is the responsibility of both parties.

Sometimes it is hard to be generous in spirit and to allow our kids (I'm actually talking about kids over 21 here) emotional freedom to be someone different from ourselves. For example, if they make choices we don't approve of, what are we to do? Should we just shut up and pretend all is well, pretend we are OK with something when we really aren't? Should we express our disapproval? If yes, how should we do so? Is there a time for expressing it, and then another time for not expressing it?

Sigh. I hurt for my friend, even though she probably thinks I'm taking her child's side in the matter. I do blame her for not being more open to her child choices, but I blame her child too, for not being more willing to talk--shutting down communication just hurts everybody.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Whoops! Wrong Guy

After church today someone saw a nice young man* get into our car with Rachel and mistook him for Rachel's boyfriend. I realized what she had done, so I started blah-blahing to correct her mistake. Later I had to smile to myself because I remember a couple summers ago this young man saying to Rachel, "No, I don't want to spend time with you, because then I might start to like you."

That thought got me to musing. Has anyone besides me noticed how long young people these days are putting off marriage?

I wrote a couple posts on this topic a few days ago when I had read one-too-many blogs written by twenty-something singles. Then I put them in them in the Drafts folder, where they will probably stay.

*Nice young men are my favorite kind