Friday, February 29, 2008

One of my favorite Scriptures!

Just HAVE to share my Bible reading from this morning - love it - love it - love it!!!

"Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.
I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him...

And here's the best part:

My determined purpose is that I may know Him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognising and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly."

Phil.3:8-10 - bold verse in the Amplified Bible

Ohhh, to know Christ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! More, Lord, more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

20th Wedding Anniversary!

When Rich and I said the big "I DO" to each other - 20 years ago today!!! - in snowy Switzerland - we had no idea that 20 years down the track, we'd be in New Zealand - with 5 wonderful children! We had no idea about all the adventures, high- and lowpoints we would experience during these years - - - (probably good that way!).
We had no idea that we would be broke, without assets, not much to call our own (never mind).
YET - richer than the majority of people on this earth - in every sense!
And happy - still happy with each other, too :)!!!
I wanted to celebrate a little bit - and not make dinner today - so Rich picked up pizza, which we had with the 3 "little" ones - (sorry Leilani, you're one of them).
Nathalie and Jeremie had to be at youth group early.
I love you, Rich!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This photo was taken 1 1/2 yrs. ago

Interesting quotes I recently read:

"Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after you. Make your gift an excellent one."

"If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain.
If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees.
If you want one hundred years of prosperity, grow people." Chinese Proverb

Saturday, February 23, 2008


As I was cleaning up my "messy corner" today (anybody else got one - or two - of those?), I came across this quote:

"Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking, if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity." Voltaire

How true!

Got to continue some more housework - having guests tomorrow - - - a wonderful family with 8 children (actually Louis' family - we've been friends with his family for a while)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Another milestone

In our first year in Tahiti, we adopted a stray female cat - called her OJ (she had the colour of orange juice). When the male cats started to come around after OJ, Rich didn't like it and prepared his amunition to chase them away: a row full of (smaller) rocks lined up on the railing of our patio.

I had to laugh at how protective Rich was of OJ and joked with him :"What are you gonna be like when Nathalie's suiters come around?" Rich figured that he'd be way worse...
At the time, Nathalie was a tiny baby, peacefully and ignorantly sleeping in her little bassinet.

Fast-forward to 2005: We had arrived in our new home, New Zealand, and Nathalie hated being here with a passion! She resented us bringing her here - away from her beloved Tahiti. She was DEFINITELY NEVER going to even consider marrying a New Zealander!

- - - SUSPENSE - - -

Fast-forward to July 2007: Nathalie came back from her 2-week-long Tahiti trip, saying "There is absolutely nothing that appeals to me about being back in NZ."

Fast-forward to last night 11pm: Louis, a young Kiwi man from our church, asked Rich (after he came back from fishing, I was sleeping) if he could court Nathalie with the intention of marrying her - with her sitting right there, too, trying to make Louis and Rich feel at ease with lots of nervous giggles:).

What happened between July and last night???? Well, you've got to ask Nathalie yourself. Y'know, I've got to watch out what I say on this blog - it's pretty public :)

This new milestone reached (and may I add, it didn't come as a surprise) sure gives me some mixed feelings - - - what happened to our baby??? No, seriously, Louis is a fine young man.
And we're proud of how they are going about their relationship - so far, so good :)

By the way, Rich didn't throw any rocks. Who would've thought?!!

Wonder what she's praying...???

Enough of a pink blog - hope you like the change of colour :)

Well, today we got another classic photo. Kylie was supposed to have a rest time on her bed, when Leilani walked past and saw this - she couldn't resist to take a photo :)

It's not a fake - - -

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A really good day!

Why today was a good day - a really good day:
  1. I got to go to the Prayer Room in the morning for an hour with Shayden and Leilani! Got so touched - once again - by God's love!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!

  2. Came home and found out that we got mail from Immigration NZ! We got invited to apply for permanent residency!!! YAY!!! One step closer!!!!

  3. I got to babysit a friend's 3-month-old daughter for 3-4 hours - PURE DELIGHT!!! I was in my element - a little baby, Shayden, Kylie and Leilani - bring 'em on!!!

Rich's and Kylie's Sunday afternoon activity

We really wanted to go to the beach yesterday afternoon (we've hardly been the whole summer), but once again - the wind was too strong to promise an enjoyable experience. So home we stayed.
Rich decided to save the remainders of our precious grapes (yes, we are blessed with a couple of grapevines in our yard!) from the greedy birds. He picked most of them, and what he and Kylie did with them, allow the photos to expand on:

YUMMY!!!!! Very nice and sweet! Delicious!!!

Add-on to the photos and our meal-times with Shayden

Taken from a very funny article I just read about "How to Prepare for Parenthood":

Lesson 8: Hollow out a melon. Make a small hole in the side. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air. You are now ready to feed a nine- month old baby.

(or a 13-month-old) - had to laugh hard at the "almost-correctness" :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Irresistible baby

Shayden now insists to feed himself - or at least he has to think he's doing it himself :)

The only way to get food into his mouth is to give him a spoon, then he will open his mouth and while he tries to get the spoon into his mouth, I put food in it with another spoon. Whew!
It's quite a work-out, since the little guy really doesn't enjoy eating very much (most of the time).

Today, I decided to let him try feeding himself all together. It didn't go very far - I don't think he's quite ready yet :)

But he sure knows how to make a mess - good thing he's so cute! And the mess is WAY less than in the days of reflux!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yahoooo!!!!!

Like mother, like daughter

I almost couldn't believe it this morning when I took Kylie to "Savemart" (second hand clothing shop) to get some clothes for her.

She is so much like me - it's (almost) scary - - - :)

Although I had made it clear that we were going to get some clothes for her, all she wanted to do was choose clothes for her dolls - - - and Shayden! (after a while she did get excited about some clothes for herself)

Like her, I used to - and still do - have this incredible attraction to everything and anything that is "baby-stuff". It's a family joke: the rest of the family knows to make a big detour around the baby-section of any store - lest I get side-tracked from what we came to do... ("Oh, look at this, it's soo cute - and that - and oh ...")

It's a crack-up to watch my daughter act exactly the same as I used to as a little girl...

It's fun to be able to relate to her so well :)

I used to make and buy baby clothes (shoes are a favorite) with my first earnings when I was barely a teenager - and then give them away - I got such a kick out of it.

Nowadays, I get to buy clothes for Shayden - - - I get an allowance from the social services and I go crazy - - - it's so much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Combined with all the clothes that have been given to me for him, he's got more than he can use - - - it's a new feeling :)

'nuf talk of babies for today. Baby's woken up from his nap :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

The tough life of a home schooler

Wordless Friday (school at 9am)


When I told Kylie this morning, "I love you to pieces, Kylie!", her dry response, in the manner of a 14- (not 4-) year old, was "Then that means that I'm dead."

She's growing up, our little one :)
Here she's in the nurse outfit she got on Christmas from her grandparents

Monday, February 11, 2008

A spoon full of sugar...

Kylie amused me again today with her play with her dolls and teddies. First she had about 10-20 nicely sitting in two rows on the couch, playing church - she was leading them in worship to God!
A moment to melt a mother's heart:)

A little later, I listened in as she was feeding one of her babies (the turtle) some food she'd mixed together. This is what she was singing:

"A spoon full of sugar - - - medicine go down - - - medicine go down - - - medicine go down. A spoon full of sugar - - - medicine go down - - - medicine go down - - - medicine go down." On and on she went singing (for you non-americans reading this, it's from a movie where a nanny is helping children take their medicine).

It was too cute!

After a while, I asked her if the baby was sick and she answered:"No, we're just baking."

I love you, Kylie! You're amazing!!!

I managed to get this photo without her noticing:)

Not only fishers of men together

Did you know that Rich is a PASSIONATE fisherman?!
Not just of human souls, but of real fish, too!
He has spent a few nights recently fishing together with the 2 men he worked with in Fiji (who are also based in Tauranga) - Dave Cole and his son Josh.

They've been enjoying each other's company and catching some nice trout - here's the proof - that was Saturday night!

Rich couldn't have been happier - he brought home two of the fish - yumm - good size, too!

Last week, a new, young YWAM family arrived in Tauranga to help with the establishing of the "Bethlehem Missions Base" - lovely people!!! At their welcome BBQ (barbie in NZ English), Dave joked and told them that all new staff get trained at fishing for trout when they arrive - it's part of the requirements for being on staff - gotta love FISHING :)!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sooo precious!

Kylie and her brother Jeremie have a special relationship going. While Rich was in Fiji, Jeremie kind of took over the father-role with her.
He is really good with her - and her favorite thing is when he plays duplos with her - he does it better than anyone else! Should see the stuff he's made up!

But last night, Kylie turned the tables:

When she noticed that he was falling asleep on the couch at 7pm (he's had a few late nights lately - last few days of vacation!), she decided it was time to take him to bed.
She had him get up, brush his teeth, go to the toilet (he went by himself :)), tucked him in bed, then sat next to his bed and told him a story.

I just came (evesdropping) at the end and heard her saying, "And that's the end of the story."
Then she prayed for him to be healed from his cold and to have a good night.
It was soooooo cute!!!

I guess you reap what you sow... (the story-telling is usually what Rich does to her most nights)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A few photos of our little darling

Thought I'd brag abit about the cutest baby in the world!
This first photo was taken on Christmas, with the ball Shayden got from Kylie:)

Shayden's gift from Grandpa and Grandma in the US
Ooooooohhhhhh - WOW ! What a gift!!! Thank you heaps!!!
Content in the loving arms of "Papa"(we aren't allowed to call ourselves Daddy and Mommy for Shayden, cuz we're not his permanent parents)
Isn't he adorable?!!!!!
enjoying some "apple in a net" on his corner-seat
The beautiful look of wonder of a first birthday party!

Loving those helium-filled balloons on his birthday!

WE LOVE YOU, SHAYDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A funny one

Just after I'd finished writing my blog last night, Rich and I went to bed. I started sniffling, cuz I thought I smelled something "bad" coming from Rich's direction :)

He said, "I just took a shower - and also put on a fresh T-shirt. Maybe you're so used to my usual BO that you think something's wrong when I'm clean... haha"

I kept sniffing, wondering where that unpleasant smell came from.
Then we found out: it was the smell of his new deodorant! (obviously not exactly my favorite smell).

As I was surprised he had a new deodorant I asked him where he'd gotten it from.

With some hesitation, he chuckled and said, "I found it on the ground at Parachute. (a huge Christian Music Festival with over 25.000 people where he did security last week-end). It was pretty much new - I think."

We both had a really good laugh - not too loud, so that Shayden wouldn' wake up:)
I guess my Mom was right when she said recently, "You can't prescribe God HOW he will provide for you"!

So here you go with another ususual way God provided for us recently:)

I wonder, though, if that particular deodorant was meant for somebody else - - - I think God would want me to like the smell of Rich's one:)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Happiest Woman on Earth

I can't believe I'm actually daring the dive into blog-world once again - after 5 months of silence... My thoughts were here many times, there would've been soooo many things to share, BUT - - - life's just been too crazy busy and blogging's one of the first "unnecessaries" that goes out the window.

I'm still very busy - starting to home school Leilani next week (and not ready yet!) - Shayden's still with us - and there is work staring at me wherever I look, but - BUT - yeah! - I just can't keep to myself anymore how blessed I am - gotta share it:)!

Today, as Kylie was holding Shayden while they were taking a bath together, she said out of the blue, "I like having a baby in the house! silence I'm gonna miss him when he leaves us!" (couldn't agree with her more!)

How sweet is that?! She really loves him lots! She's got such a nurturing/mothering spirit in her - she's amazing! She plays with her dolls and stuffed animals for hours in the most loving, caring way. When we go for a walk, we have to wait until about 4 members of her doll/stuffed animal family are dressed and ready to come along in her double doll stroller, nicely dressed, wrapped up and wearing bibs. When we go out with the car, it's not much different. She gets very upset if we don't have the time, nerves or extra seat to buckle in a doll or two next to her.

She now has a second guinea pig, too, that she bought with money she got from selling her trycicle - she's hoping for babies (yep, we were crazy enough to let her get a male and a female!)

Shayden is a HUGE blessing - I can't describe with words HOW MUCH I enjoy him! All I can say is that I feel undeservingly PRIVILEGED to be able to care for him and enjoy him - still!!!!
He is very easy-going, happy, funny and watching him blossom before my eyes, being there for so many of his "firsts" - birthday, Christmas, trying all kinds of food, to name a few - has just been a most WONDERFUL journey!!! He even started to crawl this week (commando-style). His physical therapist and I were working towards that for a while now, not sure he'd ever do it.
He makes me laugh so much - Oh how I love him!!!!


He will not stay with us much longer, but that's a story I'll keep for another day.

I feel so happy - mostly cuz I feel so loved - by my God!!! It's a wonderful way to live life!!!

We've been blessed in many astounding ways lately in the area of provision - that leaves me in awe of God.

  • A couple of unexpected larger gifts just before the end of the year that allowed us to pay a chunk of taxes and have a Christmas,
  • friends giving us heaps of avocados that were ripe just exactly during my Mother's visit (she LOVES them!),
  • friends giving us a bag of clothing for Kylie when she really needed them,
  • somebody from church passing on a ton of clothes (mostly T-shirts) for Jeremie and Rich,
  • my Mom buying me some new clothes - YAY!
  • her blessing us in many more different ways!!!!!!!!
  • getting lemons from somebody at church,
  • and - believe it or not - finding a huge zuchini on the road to Kylie's kindergarten (we had it tonight as "Ratatouille" - and a second load's in the freezer for another day). People in NZ sometimes put out spare fruit/vegies on the side of the road for anybody to pick up - we've already had several provsions this way!
I know there's more, I just can't remember it all.

I am so very grateful for so many many blessings that I am able to enjoy!
Hopefully, I'll find the time to share more as time goes on.
My heart is full - - - :)