Monday, July 30, 2007


While we were in Taupo, I was telling Rich - once again - that I really needed a winter coat! This is my third winter without one. And as I was speaking, we walked by this store that was selling winter coats and had a huge sale going on.

After an hour or so trying on all these coats, we found one we both liked and felt to buy it. We didn't really have the money for it, but it was a necessity and so we went ahead and charged it to our credit card. It was an incredible deal - 60 or 70% off the normal price!

Guess what happened this afternoon while I was feeding Shayden?
This lady from our church knocked at our door and dropped off an envelope with some money. She said that it wasn't from her, but from an "angel", and off she was.

When I looked inside the envelope, I was sooooo blessed! The money was just about exactly what we'd payed for the coat. WOW!!!! All I can say is, "THANK YOU, LORD!!!"

Unforgettable Week-end

Rich and I had a fantastic week-end by ourselves! YEAH!

Since Rich will be leaving soon to stay in Fiji for 2 1/2 months - and it's been a bit challenging the last week since he's come back from Fiji with the baby and other kids (hardly any time to ourselves) - AND it was his birthday - I felt it was time for a time-out by ourselves. We dropped off Shayden at his former caregiver (she was more than happy to look after him) and took off to Taupo - a couple of hours from Tauranga.

Nathalie, Jeremie and Leilani volunteered to look after Kylie and take care of themselves for the week-end. This was their birthday gift for their Dad!

What incredible kids!

Rich and I were able to stay at friends' holiday house and spent most of the time fishing. This was the first time since our first year of marriage that I went fishing with Rich! Not that I wouldn't have wanted to before, but it just has never been possible.

Suffice it to say that it was remarkable - incredible - VERY enjoyable!!! I even liked the fishing, although we didn't catch anything.
The nature was just sooooo relaxing and beautiful - ministered to us! And how great to spend an extended time with your best friend!

It was really fun planning it all in secret, since it was a surprise for Rich. I got such a kick out of it! The kids and I were able to keep the surprise until just before we left - when Rich was packing his fishing stuff (thinking he was just going for a couple of hours) and missing something I had already packed away in the car, along with everything else (except the kitchen sink), including firewood :) - and yes, the only drawback was that it was so cold! There were no heaters in the house except a fireplace that needed tons of wood and still hardly heated up.

On Sunday morning, Rich went fishing on the lake with the kayak while I stayed in bed for a few hours - just to keep warm (10degrees Celcius). I had a fantastic time with God!!!

Despite the cold on the outside, it was a heart-warming, romantic week-end that we wished could have lasted a few more days :) - Thank you, Lord!

Friday, July 27, 2007

From an almost 4-year-old

"When you don't play with me, I don't know you.
When you play with me, I know you."

Hmmmm - - - That's been Kylie's way to ask me to play with her in the last week or so.
Interesting way to put it! And how true!

Makes me think of me and God - KNOWING EACH OTHER is what it's all about - cherishing relationship, playing together.
And we've got to make time for it! Not always easy - especially with a baby in the house and interrupted sleep etc. :)

I'm still having a lot of fun with Shayden and enjoy him IMMENSELY!!!

Another comment of Kylie (yesterday):

"Mom, I really love you! Pause
Sometimes I love you - and sometimes I don't."

Me: "So you love me when I spend time with you and play with you - and you don't love me when I get on your case about something?"

Kylie: "Yeah"

Oh, the simplicity and honesty of children! I LOVE IT!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Rich is back home!

Just 1/2 hour before Rich arrived back home from Fiji on Friday afternoon, Shayden started crying and continued to do so for the majority of the next hours, including a good part of the night. He obviously was in pain from constipation and overtired because I'd been out the whole morning and he missed his nap. On top of that I had changed his formula - which, I found out later - could also have caused stomach aches (I quickly changed back!).

I felt so bad for Rich - - - what a welcome home - he even had to end up making some of our dinner just after he got home!

Shayden had never been like that and it was really hard to see him crying so hard for so long.

Anyway, besides another pretty bad night, we had a mostly relaxing week-end.

Nathalie and Jeremie got invited to go snow boarding with some friends today! They left the house at 5am and should be back home around 10:30pm. What a treat for them!!! I am happy for them, since they've had a pretty tough week - homesick for Tahiti and not really wanting to be here...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Fallen in LOVE

It didn't take long for me to fall in love with Shayden. He's just beautiful and the easiest baby I've ever taken care of. Such a blessing!!!
Now that we have our digital camera back, here are some pics:

Monday, July 16, 2007

Nathalie and Jeremie are back home!

It is wonderful to have Nathalie and Jeremie back home! After a VERY short night (they came in at 2am and Shayden woke up at 5am) it's been a full on day, with hours of talking and looking at "just" 600 of the 1000 photos they took (thank God for digital cameras!)

The decibel of sound in our house has just doubled - at least - especially with Kylie feeling she has to shout to make herself heard :)
Shayden is still an amazingly easy baby, smiling lots and only crying when he's hungry.

They both loved their time in Tahiti and agree that it was way too short, especially since they were both sick for a third of the time and then it was raining for another third of the time - - - and they couldn't enjoy the nature in Papeari that they love so much (river, valley and ocean) as much as they would have liked to.

They both said that part of their heart is still there and they didn't miss anything about NZ except the family - - - quite hard to leave... lots of emotions... and pain...

I was getting pretty stirred up, too, looking at all the photos with the familiar faces and places - - -


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Rich in Fiji

Every time Rich goes to Fiji, he takes a bus - at some point - from Nadi (pronounce Nandi) to Suva, the capital.
Yesterday, he took the airconditioned bus, because the time suited him better. Normally he takes the non-airconditioned bus.
Anyways, the bus was so crammed full, that they had 3 good-size men (including him) sit on two seats for the 5 hours the trip lasted!
Plus, one of the men had a 1-year-old child on his lap.
I'm glad that at least the bus was airconditioned - but he said it was miserable - as you can imagine.

As soon as he got into Suva, he took a taxi to the IWT base, got changed and took another taxi to a meeting with Pastors and volunteers. Remember, the 2 vehicles are still blocked at customs?!

When I asked him what I can pray for him, he asked to pray that he wouldn't get devoured by moskitoes in the night (like he did the night before)

Oh, the joys of being a missionary :)!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Shayden is here!

Rich left for Fiji a couple of days ago, Nathalie and Jeremie are coming back from Tahiti in a couple of days - AND - the big news is that Shayden arrived at our home yesterday afternoon!

I had NO IDEA what state he was going to be in, how distressed he would be and how he would sleep at night. Considering the little I'd heard before, he had every reason to be very disturbed and sleeping very badly (I'm his 5th caretaker and he's only 6 months old!)

Add to it a couple of bad nights before his arrival due to Kylie coming down sick with the flu (yes, again - sigh) - and I was definitely in suspense before he arrived.

Now, 30 hours later, I am gratefully relieved!
He settled amazingly quickly, just cried off and on for the first 1 1/2hours and has been fine since. The crying yesterday was largely due to constipation, which has gotten better today after prayer, some diet changes and more diaper changes than you can count :)
His former caregiver was convinced he would be screaming for 24 hours and not eating - none of which happened. Thank you, God!!!
It's great to have God on my side for this - what a wonderful HELPER!!!

I can't tell you how relieved I am that he sleeps through the night - YEAH!!! Actually longer than any of our kids ever has (6pm to 7:30am!!!)

Kylie has been really good with him. Before he came, she told me that she was going to share her toys with him. When he was here, she announced that she would teach him how to suck his thumb - now this is coming from a heavy-duty, professional thumb-sucker that knows her trade :).

She enjoys the stroller and car-seat in the house and puts her dolls in them - welcome new toys for her - especially since she can't get too close to Shayden due to her remaining cold and cough.

Leilani is an awesome helper - and loves to help care for him!

Am I blessed or what? Thank you, Jesus!!
It is wonderful having Shayden with us - and although it'll be full-on (especially if he keeps going through bibs and clothes like he has today - caused by reflux), I know the investment into this precious little life is totally worth it!

It's really good that it's just Leilani, Kylie and me at the house for starters, and no school this week, since he doesn't like strange new faces or lots of noise - nor car trips - very much.
Next week'll be a different story - - -
If I don't write, you know I'm too exhausted :)

Looking forward to having Nathalie and Jeremie back home - the night between Sunday and Monday! Can't wait to hear all about their experiences - we couldn't really be in touch with them by phone for most of the time.

Monday, July 9, 2007

I'm listening to beautiful LIVE worship from the "International House of Prayer" in Kansas City on (website). LOVE IT!!!

I am just blown away by the love and beauty of God! He's so good!!!

A couple of quotes that I took away from yesterday's church service:

"It doesn't really matter WHAT you do, as long as you do it with LOVE!"

Mother Teresa

"Love is spelled T-I-M-E."

How true! Especially when my hubby gives TIME to me, I really feel loved! He's been doing quite a bit of that lately and I feel that my love-cup is filled again. YEAH!
I guess we're ready for another trip to Fiji.

And my kids thrive when I give them TIME!


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Baby coming our way

If all goes according to plan (and you're never sure until it actually happens), we will have another little foster baby with us starting next week Thursday or so. He's a 6-month-old Maori boy named Shayden (spelling?) and needs a home for about 2-3 months - we'll see...

Rich and I really struggled through the decision for a few days.

On one hand, my heart is more than ready to care for another baby. I've been reading about adoption, looking up information, praying etc. Even a couple of my friends have had dreams just recently about me having a baby (and no, I'm not pregnant!).
On the other hand I know my tendency to take on too much - - - and Rich will be gone so much during that time that I'm just not sure I can do it without putting additional strain on my life and our family...

To make a long story short, we did end up saying yes - only if they could find absolutely nobody else to care for Shayden - and they couldn't.
Sooooo - he should be with us just after Rich leaves for Fiji next week Wednesday.

He seems to have some special needs requiring me to do physical therapy with him for 20 min. twice daily (he's got club hands and one shortened forearm, plus 6 fingers on one hand).

I am actually very excited - as well as a little scared :)
And we're praying that if for some reason it isn't the highest for us to take him on, that God would provide for another solution for him between now and next week.

Until then I'm enjoying the relative peace and quiet at the house with just Rich and 2 kids and trying to catch up on a lot of administrative work (and hopefully house work).

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Mommy-daughter get-away

Just got back from a couple of days Mommy-daughter time with Leilani about an hour from here. I "kidnapped" her (as we do with our children when they're about 11/12 yrs. old) on a surprise get-away to help prepare her for the exciting/terrifying teenage years.

We listen to a cassette series by Dr.James Dobson "Preparing for Adolescence", talk about it and just have a special time together (junk foods, playing games, nature walks, window shopping and a trip to the hot pools were part of it).
A huge blessing was that we were able to stay at some people's beach house (bach, as they say here) for free!

It was GREAT - very peaceful!!! So nice to just have that special time with Leilani and hopefully gearing her up as well as possible for the years ahead.

What an incredible resource - to be recommended very highly!!!

I also loved having time alone with God and reading a book for the first 2-3 hours each morning while Leilani was still sleeping :)

What a treat! I feel wonderfully refreshed!!! Thank you, Lord!!!