Saturday, July 30, 2011

A tub full of....

The last several weeks we have been without a kitchen.  Ours was ordered before we moved, but was not scheduled to be done for several more weeks.  One morning as I was washing my dishes in the tub, I was complaining in my mind.  You know, stuff back hurts, I hate doing dishes and it's so much worse when I have to lean over the tub, I wish I didn't have to do these dishes, etc.  The Holy Spirit quickly convicted my heart of my attitude.  As I finished washing the dirty dishes, I began to thank the Lord that I had a family that needed me to wash their dishes.  Once my attitude was adjusted, I actually enjoyed finishing up my tub of dishes.  The joy of being a mother returned even amidst the task of dishes.  Now, do I get tired of the piles of dishes, laundry, sweeping, mopping, etc?  Yes, sometimes I wish I could snap my fingers and have a perfectly clean house.  But since that isn't realistic, I'll joyfully care for my family that God blessed me with.  I'll take the clutter, messes, dishes, and laundry.  Why?  Because my family is worth it.  I love my family! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Construction Zone!

Hope to have things back to normal soon!

Sunday School

Several weeks ago I started a Sunday School class.  Ruslana's dad, Valodia, has been faithfully attending our services for about 9 months.  Ruslana's mom recenly started working outside the home and works on Sundays.  We are so glad that Valodia is bringing Ruslana with him each week to church.  She is quickly learning how to sit quietly during a lesson and loves coming to class.  

Of course, Caleb is enjoying the opportunity to attend a Sunday School class too.  We have a lesson, eat snacks, color, play with playdough, and do a craft.  Doesn't that sound like fun to you? 

The Bible says, "...Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for such is the kingdom of God." (Mark 10:14)
What a joy it is to serve the Lord and teach these little ones about Jesus!

Summer Time!

I sure enjoy all the daylight we get during our summer months.  Although the sun sets, it never gets completely dark.  It sure can be difficult to go to bed (even at 10:00) with the sun shining in your window.  Since our summers come and go so quickly, we tend to stay up late here and enjoy all the sunshine and light. 

taken at 3:45 a.m.

taken after 9 p.m.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Craft Time!

I LOVE to do crafty things and be creative!
However, I just don't always have the time (or resources) to get as involved as I would like.
I bought a shelf for Sarah's room at Michael's at the beginning of 2009.  It sat...and sat...and sat.  Finally I hung it up  -  even though it wasn't painted. 
Before we moved in to our new apartment, everything was freshly painted {with the colors of our choice).  I was so excited that there was left over paint from Sarah's room.  I set aside some time to finally give the shelf the TLC that it needed. 

 *A special thanks to my niece {Elizabeth Farrell} for giving me a great idea.  I was talking with my sister on Skpe about how I was going to paint the shelf.  Elizabeth suggested making the hooks the middle of the flowers.  I loved the idea!  Thanks, Elizabeth.
  I am very pleased with how it turned out and Sarah loves it.
(now we just have to hang it up {again}☺)
 Last week Sarah and I were invited to a birthday party.  All three girls in the family (mom, 15 year old, and 13 year old) have birthdays withing 5 days of each other.  I started thinking about what to get them for gifts, but I couldn't think of anything.  I don't know about you, but I really dislike spending money on a gift when I have no idea what to get.  Gifts are so fun when they are personal and thought has been put into it.  So, I put my "creative" thinking cap on so I could take some personalized gifts to the party.

personalized wall decorations

I bought a canvas board and then looked through my box of material, ribbon, and craft supplies.  Thankfully I had just found out some color schemes and themes that each of them liked.  I thought....and planned...and thought some more.  Then I got out my hot glue gun and went to work.  I think the recipients liked them and I know I enjoyed making them. 

My hubby's birthday!

July 5th, my hubby celebrated his ??th birthday! 
I am so blessed to be married to such a special man.
My kids have an AWESOME daddy, and they just love him to pieces.

♥the birthday boy♥
 This year we were able to give Ron a special little surprise for his birthday (even though it was a little early).  Since we live in Johvi now, Ron walked to the church the Saturday before his "big day".  That left us with the car.  So, the kids worked hard to clean it out, vacuum the inside, and wash the windows. 
cleaning dad's van
 Then we went to a car wash so the outside would match the clean inside.
We hung a new air freshener inside and taped a birthday card to the steering wheel.

It is so fun to do special things for the people you love!

July 4th fun!

We had a fun, relaxing day as we celebrated our country's birthday.
Some fellow missionaries invited us over and outdid themselves preparing food, games, and decorating in red, white, and blue.
The banner was completely hand-made.  Isn't it beautiful!?

After a delicious meal we played games.  One of the games was putting the Presidents in order from #1 - #44.  Andrew did an outstanding job and only missed 5!  The other game was even harder, but we learned a lot about each state's name.  Then we headed outside for some water balloon games.  

fun festivities
 Before our family left for our hour drive home we let the kids do some sparklers.  Even though it was still quite light outside (about 8:30p.m.), the kids had a blast.




P.S.  If you have not heard Caleb sing The Star Spangled Banner, you can do that here  He does such a great job and I'm sure you will enjoy it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July


God bless America
What a great priviledge it is to have a godly, Christian heritage.  My boys love to study history, watch war documentaries (especially with Grandpa), and learn about people who helped make our nation great.

We are a patriotic family!  We love red, white, and blue!  We love to see flags waving!  We are proud of and support our troups!  We love apple pie!  We love the songs....God bless America, Yankie Doodle, America the Beautiful, Battle Hymn of the Republic, and The Star Spangled Banner.  We LOVE America!!!!


In October of 2009 we moved to Toila, Estonia.  It is about a 15 minute drive fron Johvi where we currently hold Sunday services and teach English.  Toila is a beautiful, quiet village/town with no stop lights, one little store, and a short walk to the sea side.  Although we really enjoyed living in such a peaceful setting and had a nice size apartment, we ultamently wanted to move to Johvi.  Last October (2010) we once again had our real estate agent show us some places in Johiv, but everything was either big and expensive or way too small.  There are lots of details I won't get into, but a couple months ago we looked at an apartment in a new building.  We were very interested, but we were told someone else was also looking at it.  So, to make a long story short......we prayed, God provided. 
This past Monday we spent our first night in our apartment in Johvi!  It is smaller than the apartment we had before, but we will make it work.  It's cozy and filled with love!  What a special blessing it was to have four of our church people and another missionary family help us move.   

our  apartment (first floor - with the letters on the window)
We will also begin renting a different building to hold English classes and Sunday services starting in August.  The building we are in now is very big.  The rent is reasonable, actually it's a great deal, but the money we spend on heating is just outrageous.  So, to be better stewards of our money, we will be renting the apartment right next door to our new one.  Right now they are finishing the inside. No one has ever lived there. This apartment has a large room, a smaller office, kitchen, closet, and bathroom.  The rent is about the same as what we pay now, but what we spend on heating should be much less.

soon to be English/Church room
The apartment next door to us will also be able to house any one that would like to visit us.  Do you want to be the first?????

Keep On Keeping On!!!

Serving the Lord is the absolute best life that there is, of that I am sure!  However, we are not promised that life will be a "bed of roses".  It can be easy to get discouraged or frustrated at times because the ministry does not progress or grow as quickly as we think (or wish) it would.  We hear results of other mission fields that have large churches, many salvations, and regular baptism services.  That is awesome!  There are times that I catch myself wishing God had called us to one of those fields.  But then I stop and think of the city of Johvi........the people here.........and their need for a Saviour. 

Although most people are very friendly to us here, most of them are not that interested in spiritual things.  My heart is broken almost daily because of the coldness of people toward God.  Many people are turned off by {any} religion completely, while others are so caught up in their "religion" that they think they don't need God. 

June 2011
 I know many of you are our faithful prayer partners and we are so grateful.  Please continue to pray for our ministry.  I'll quickly remind you of a few names of people that we regularly work with....
Irina - saved last August.  Does not come to church real faithfully.  Pray that she would grow in her Christian life and that she would realize the need to be in church every Sunday.
Marita - claims to be a Christian, comes to church faithfully
Tanya - comes to church pretty faithfully, brings her own Bible
Valodia - comes to church pretty faithfully.  His wife just got a job and works on Sunday so he brings his 3 year old daughter.  We are glad he brings her rather than stay home to watch her.
Olga - comes when she can but works many Sundays
Lena - has been coming for about 3 months, asks questions about the Bible
Sunday afternoon BBQ at our house (June 2011)
In the past couple of weeks we have made some more contacts.  These people are interested in English, but all the people who attend our service now started off as "just an English student".  English continues to be a great tool to contact people.  Lord willing, Ron will be starting up English classes again in just a couple of months.  We would appreciate prayer for this ministry too.

In closing, I would encourage each of you to read this article at the Missionary Memo.  Stephen Benefield is my brother and has been serving the Lord in Cambodia since 2000.  You will not regret visiting his blog.  There are many challenging articles posted, but Farmer Fred and the Three Visitors will encourage you to keep on keeping on.  Do it God's way and trust Him for the increase in His time.


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