Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Seriously, Another Feathered Visitor?

So, on Saturday, while our friends were here visiting, another "bird" decided to drop in and say 'hello'. Thankfully, this one stayed in the back yard. The problem was...roosters don't really fly. There are chickens in the yard behind ours....but we have a 15 foot concrete wall separating us from them. The rooster's entry will remain a mystery.

Anyway, hearing the flapping and crowing in our back patio...the kids and I ran out back to check it out. Indeed, there was a little rooster walking around the courtyard. The cat, of course, had gotten out and was drooling over the thought of a chicken dinner. The dog just wanted to play (the rooster, not so much). We put both the cat and dog inside and I grabbed a laundry basket (and a camera). Okay, I don't know what I was thinking...did you know it isn't really easy to catch a rooster in a laundry basket. Andrew tried for a while too...for the fun of it. Noah wondered out loud what we should name our new pet. Finally, after torturing the poor bird with a pink laundry basket and a group of excited children...Andrew managed to get the rooster to "fly" back over the wall. Goodness, what will "visit" next??

"What a fun game!" thinks Luna.

"What a fun game!" think the kids.

"Why did I think going over the wall would be a fun game??" thinks the rooster.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why Are We Here?

We are just getting over the hump of 2 hard weeks here. During the harder times, it seems natural to ask the question: "Why are we here?" When the going gets tough, we want an answer to this question. AND we want that answer, that when placed on the scale, outweighs the challenges and sacrifices that are intrinsic to living outside of our birth country.

For the moment, our answer continues to be two-fold:

First, we are here because there seems to be things that God wanted (and continues to want) to teach our family that he knew we couldn't learn anywhere else. Essentially, we are here for our own growth as followers of Jesus. That sounds a little selfish and egocentric, but there it is. God has us here for our own good and with our best interest in mind.

Secondly, we are here because God asked us to come and live here. We don't know for how long, but here we are, in joyful obedience. We believe that God is most honored and glorified, and our joy is made more complete, by obeying him in this way (John Piper kind of talk). As Bethany and I discussed this, the question came up: Could God be just as glorified, and our joy be just as complete, if we had decided not to leave our birth country? Our quick answer was "No". God would not be glorified, nor would our joy be complete, in the face of our disobedience.

“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” -John Piper

We realize that this is a loaded post, with loaded words. Feel free to push back on it with discussion.

The images below are not related to this post, just pictures of the land where our friend hopes to build his house.

Noah, down in a post hole

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Unexpected Visitors

Having unexpected visitors drop-in is part of life here. It takes flexibility. I'm learning.

Although, this week, we had two very unexpected visitors...of the bird variety. Maybe I should mention that Noah has been praying that God would bring him a parrot. These visiting birds were not parrots...but perhaps I am being prepared for that which Noah is praying.

The first feathered visitor came against its will. We have a wrought iron door through which the cat has learned to escape. The kids were at school. I was sitting at my desk working on the computer when I heard a lot of commotion behind me. I turned around to see the cat dragging a bird in through that wrought iron door. The bird flew to a plant we have in living room and tried to hide. Feathers were flying. The cat was quite proud of herself and continued to "play" with her victim. Our gardener, who only comes once a week, conveniently was here and I enlisted him to "catch the bird". Here is a snapshot of a very proud kitten and her "catch".

Then, yesterday, the kids and I were chillin' out on a Saturday morning while Jeff was out and about helping a friend. The front door was left open to give the cat a place to re-enter since she had 'escaped' earlier. A little bird decided to hop in and visit with our family. It stayed for nearly an hour. The kids and I had a great time taking photos, video-recording the fun, as well as, attempting to get the our new feathered friend OUT of the house. Here are a few snapshots of the fun.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ready for Random??

So, since we've super slackers with Window Wednesdays....I thought I'd hit you with a smattering of photos from the last several months. Enjoy the randomness.

Andrew spent a good portion of his vacation reading the series: Warriors.

Playing with Luna. She has grown SO MUCH since the time this photo was taken!

The Nica version of raking, leaf. This is a palm frond. Thankfully they hang low for a while before they crash to the ground. They are heavy and I imagine that it would be painful to be hit with one. The dog gets pretty freaked out when they fall...for her, it's like the sky is falling!

A few big trees have fallen in the center green space in our neighborhood. We found a few pieces that the wood guys didn't want. Jeff and I made this nifty shoe rack. Cool, huh?

The "superman" inside of Noah is alive and well! Sometimes, I am very thankful that all of our second story windows have wrought iron bars!

Luna really is a good dog overall despite her obsession with stealing towels and other items from the wash sink outside. The best part of having a dog here in the tropics...they get to live outside ALL year 'round!

We had some bananas growing in our yard. They tasted pretty good. Currently, we have plantains growing and they taste great fried in a little oil with salt. Fried, green plantains are called TAJADAS [tay-HA-das]. Super yummy!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Well Said

My friend (thanks Jules!) shared this blogpost that she read a few days ago. The blog writer, Laura, has poignantly expressed "life" in another culture. I hope you take the time to follow this link to Laura's Blog.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Good Made Best

The First Day of School, 2012

Looking at the'd think I'd write about how the new school year is going. Well, it is going very well actually...but, this post is about IDOLS. See those three beautiful of my greatest struggles is making those three children my idols. I place them and their well-being in a position higher than God. My struggle (uh, ok...sin) of idolatry reached an crazy high a couple of weeks ago.

When Ella came down with a fever, cough, and congestion, we thought it was a little virus that would pass in a few days. After the 7th day of fever, we had her tested for "tropical diseases." Thankfully, she tested negative. (Then Noah came down with a fever, cough and congestion.) Ella ended up having a fever for about 12 days and missed 8 days of school. Being away from my "medical safety net" that I relied upon in the States, I struggled with fear and anxiety over my kids' health. Actually, I became obsessed with their health. Yes, a fever for 12 days is rather disconcerting...but still...God clearly showed me several times that my obsession with the health and well-being of my children was trumping God in my heart and thoughts.

Definitely convicting. Probably a common struggle for parents, especially mothers. However, it was and is important for me to remember that GOD LOVES MY KIDS more completely and deeply than I do. Sometimes, that is hard to fathom. The other point of conviction that was 'brought to my attention' was: that regardless of circumstance...God is NEVER-changing. He and His Love (and all that is included in His Love) remains the same. That is a good thing. A very good thing.

[By the way, we did speak with a doctor who works with one of the missions here...and we determined that Ella and Noah had the flu.]

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A/C ?

When we lived in Delaware, Bethany and I always had a competition (not against each other, but us against nature) to see how long we could hold out at the change of each season before we would turn on the A/C or the heat.

Well, today, as it registered 103 degrees, I turned and asked Bethany "I am ready to turn the A/C on if you are?" It took her a split second to realize I was joking. She was almost ready to agree when she remembered that we don't have that unless we stick our head into the freezer...actually I just might go do that.