Monthly Archives: March 2012

Journey to the [other side] of the Earth.

Saturday morning, we get on our first airplane to go back to Indonesia. Only 3 more days……. aaaaaahhhhhhh!!!

So here is the plan.

Saturday, March 31st – fly from Cincinnati to San Francisco via Denver. 2 flights.

Sunday, April 1st –Tuesday, April 3rd – fly from San Francisco to Jakarta via Seoul, Korea and Singapore (we have an nine hour layover in Singapore and we are getting a transit hotel there). 3 flights.

Wednesday, April 4th – fly from Jakarta to our city in Central Sulawesi with one stop. 2 flights.

Did you get that? Total 5 days and 7 airplanes. With a 3 year old and a 1 year old. Yes, we are crazy.

We actually have purposely built in a little more time so that we can lay down in a bed at a few points during our trip. We’re trying it and hopefully it will be better than the same number of flights and no break at all.

Oh yeah… did I mention that I get airsick? Less drowsy Dramamine is going to be my best friend this time. Hopefully it will make me able to function as a Mommy and not feel sick the whole time. That’s what I’m praying for!

We have a whole stack of stuff prepared to keep our little girls entertained during the flights. And Benadryl. For when they need to sleep and just can’t. We have toys, coloring books, snacks, toys, snacks, my tablet, our phones, a computer, snacks, juice, and more toys. Did I mention snacks? Really, when you’re on that long of a trip you will do anything to keep your kids happy. The idea of quiet books and crafts are fine, but when they get really cranky – a movie and some gummy bears, please! Followed closely by Benadryl.

The packing has begun. Thanks to my wonderful father: he got almost all of it done this morning. As of yesterday I didn’t have a single thing (not one!) in a suitcase and it was stressing me out a little. Now I just have to do the carry-ons and finish up one last bag.

Please pray for us as we pack up and travel! We’ll need every bit of grace with ourselves, each other, and other people during our long long journey.

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Those Who Love Us

During our training time in Dallas we were able to be in a Bible study with some wonderful people. They were all in the same line of work as us, and all in training. Someday we hope to be reunited with these wonderful friends, but right now we are scattered all over the globe.

One of my friends from that study, Erin, is preparing with her family to move to Africa. I just received her newsletter and I LOVED what she had to say about getting ready to leave family to go live overseas. She is an excellent writer and shares poignant thoughts that are sometimes very difficult for people in cross-cultural work to articulate, but are almost always felt. I hope you enjoy what she has to say:

“My dad asked me jokingly the other day if he could take us to court to prevent us from taking his grandkids to Tanzania. I told him that if the judge were a grandfather, he would probably side with dad against us. We both spoke in jest, but we knew that the feelings involved in taking our family overseas are very real.

     Most people know that packing up your children and moving to Africa involves some sacrifice. But what about the sacrifice of those we leave behind? We get all kinds of accolades for what we are doing. We get to go through the line first at church potlucks. People bring us up in front of crowds of kids and tell them to make us their role models. We get checks in the mail almost every day! One might say we have received our reward in full. But there are no awards for being the parent of a missionary. Yet what they give up to allow us to follow God’s calling are some of life’s most treasured moments – birthday parties, ball games, heart-to-heart chats, Sundays around the dinner table, and thousands of precious hugs.

     They had little say in our decision, but just as with so many things over which one has no control, they got to decide how they would respond to it. Our parents would have had every right to be angry with us, to obsess over the perceived dangers we are exposing ourselves to and discourage us at every step, or to refuse to do anything to move us closer to our goal. But they also have the option to offer us up as sacrifices willingly, to embrace and make the most of their position at long-distance grandparents, and to encourage us like no one else can when we face difficulties. What a blessing it is to us to have parents like that!

     Our families have given of their time, their finances, and their talents to help us every step of the way. They have made plans for how to stay connected with us and our kids once we leave. They have said they would like to make the long trip across the Atlantic to visit us if they have the chance. And, perhaps most difficult of all, when faced with the opportunity to remind us of what we are asking of them and saddle us with guilt, they have refrained.

     I hope that someday, if Rose or Everett tells me that God is asking them to go to some place where I can’t follow, where I can’t keep them safe or get to hug and kiss them every day, that I will have the faith to give them my blessing and help them on their way. Our children are the most precious of God’s gifts, and nothing is more natural and right than to hold them close. But at the same time we have to remember that they belong to God first of all. We have to raise them to be the kind of people who will love Him with their whole selves and follow Him anywhere. And when they follow Him far away from us, we have to pray and give and speed them on their way, even when it breaks our hearts.

Erin

Amen. Matt and I have both also been very blessed with wonderful understanding families that have supported us and loved us (and our kids) so much! We have 5 days left in America – so many mixed emotions!

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EMDC 2012

Last week I was in Germany at the Eurasia Media & Distribution Consultation, and it was excellent!  It was an amazing combination of all the nerdy, geeky things I like to do combined with our work in the ethnoarts.  It was a week of talking about:

  • A/V documentation in minority people groups
  • getting media and Scripture onto phones
  • websites
  • Android and iPhone apps
  • copyright and informed consent
  • communication
  • software
  • orality and non-print media
  • and more!

I was very glad to be there for this conference, and I’ve come back with some great ideas for our work in Indonesia.  It’s exciting to talk to so many people on the cutting edge of technology and the arts for ministry.  There will be more on this later; as we start doing some new things I’ll try to keep posting about it here. 

Germany was beautiful, and I only wish I’d had some time to look around and do some sightseeing.  Of course, I’m not really allowed to go traipsing around Europe without my wife; I was under strict orders!  Here’s a few pictures of the area around where we had the conference:

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2012-03-20 07.30.11

2012-03-21 18.46.57

And of course, I had a layover in Paris so I had to have a nice breakfast.  Croissants and cappuccinos  really are better there:

2012-03-18 09.07.00

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Off to Germany…

I (Matt) will be at the Eurasia Media Distribution Training and Consultation from today through next Friday, so there may not be a lot of blog posts in the meantime.  Kara might still post some, but she’ll only be accessing our WordPress blog via the website so it’s a lot less convenient to write posts than using Windows Live Writer, which we normally use. 

Be back in a week or so!  I’ll let you all know how the conference went.

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Blueberry Girl

Today was a beautiful day here in Ohio!! We took the girls outside after their naps this afternoon and walked in the grass, played with the hose on the driveway, and rode bikes. It was so fun! When we came back in Charlotte was hungry and I had to get dinner ready, so… I had to give her a snack to hold her over. She got blueberries.

This girl LOVES blueberries!! Since we got back here to America, she has enjoyed them as a snack, and if she sees them will refuse all other food until she is given blueberries. Now that she is understanding more words, all I have to say is, “Charlotte, do you want some blueberries?” and she heads straight for the fridge. Her favorite spot to eat them is from a bowl on the floor. Here is my cute little blueberry girl!

DSCN1530

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Filed under daily life, family, Food, our kids

There Was an Old Lady

Did anyone else grow up singing this song on road trips in the car?  We just taught it to Elizabeth (and Kara) with my parents when we were down in Houston, and it brought back memories! I have no idea why this is worth sharing on our blog, but Elizabeth just asked me to sing it again so I thought I’d see it there’s anyone else out there that knows this one.

Here’s the lyrics, and I found it on YouTube also:

 

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.
I dunno why she swallowed that fly,
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a spider,
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly –
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a bird;
How absurd, to swallow a bird!
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly –
Perhaps she’ll die

There was an old lady who swallowed a cat.
Imagine that, she swallowed a cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird …
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she’ll die

There was an old lady who swallowed a dog.
What a hog! To swallow a dog!
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat…
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird …
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a goat.
Just opened her throat and swallowed a goat!
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog …
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird …
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cow.
I don’t know how she swallowed a cow!
She swallowed the cow to catch the goat…
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog…
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat…
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird …
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a horse –
She’s dead, of course.

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Ice Cream! (at the Whippy Dip)

So in Loveland, where Kara’s parent’s live, there’s this great little ice cream place called the Loveland Dairy Whip, but everyone just calls it the Whippy Dip.  This is where Elizabeth had her first ice cream a few years ago, so we thought Charlotte should enjoy some too.  Some of Kara’s relatives were visiting also, so we had a great time letting the kids make a mess.

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Mother Guilt

Today was a rough morning. No big reason, just one of those days where I don’t feel like I understand what’s going on around me. Kids screaming. Laundry. Dishes. Packing. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had a morning like this…

Anyway, after lunch there were some things I just had to do and I wasn’t able to play with the girls like I usually would. At first they were kind of fussy, and then Elizabeth told me she was “out of ideas”. I kept on cleaning up and doing laundry and then I noticed that something had happened. They started playing with each other! Charlotte loves to go out on the balcony here at my sister’s apartment and Elizabeth started running out there and jumping close to her. All I heard was the giggling! See what happens if I can just let go of my guilt of not engaging and interacting with them constantly and just let them play?!?! They had a great time!

It is the best reward of all to see the two of them having so much fun together as sisters. Here is the video of our sweet girls. Charlotte was laughing so hard that she had fallen over and I think she couldn’t stop laughing to get up.

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Recipe Challenge Part 2!

We came back to America for a lot of reasons. One of them was to eat. Food. Good food. Lots of good food. Lots of good American food.

Of course seeing family and friends, visiting places, getting healthy, and being recharged to return to Indonesia are the main reasons. But the food sure is a really nice bonus! Our waistlines are showing it too…

I’ve had a few responses from the recipe challenge that I posted a few weeks (okay, months) ago. Some asked for some more specifics and others said that they wanted to participate. I have found quite a few recipes on Pinterest that I am excited to try, and have been reminded of other good resources for finding recipes overseas. I think the main problem I have had in following up with my first recipe challenge post is that we are still here in America enjoying all of the wonderful yumminess that is available here!

Right now I am still in the collection phase: gathering up ideas and inspiration to take back with me. Please contact or email me with some of your family’s favorite recipes if you would like to participate! We leave in a little less than a month for Indonesia, so I am gathering and gearing up. If you need to see the list of things we CANNOT get, just check the original post. Once we are back in Indonesia and cooking (after jet-lag has worn off), I will post which recipes we tried, what worked, and what we thought.

Look for a post in the mean time about what foods and food related items I deem worthy of space and weight to take back with us. Let the packing begin!

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Christophobia

I (Matt) ran across this article a few weeks ago, and I’d highly recommend it as a well-written and, at least from our perspective, relatively accurate portrayal of what’s going on in the world right now.  It was written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the author of several recent books about Islam, culture, and current events that Kara has been reading.  It appeared in Newsweek just a few weeks ago.   Let me know what you think!

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