Friday, May 30, 2008

Off to the North!

Stroller, portacot. clothes, food, toys, bedding - the van contains just about half our household - and we're just about ready for the 5 hour trip north to YWAM Oak Ridge for the long week-end for the annual YWAM staff-gathering! YAY!
Oh, by the way, it's just Rich, Kylie, Shayden and me going :)
The 3 older ones all have different fun activities planned with friends and are staying back.
Hoping for a refreshing time before the BIG MOVE :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

PLEASE PRAY for the Chapman-family

Please pray for Steven Curtis Chapman and his family, the Lord is the only One who can bring comfort for them at this excruciating time. My heart is just breaking for them...
You can read more about Maria and leave some words of encouragement for her family at this website.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Please pray for Shayden!

Our little treasure has not been gaining weight. He weighs less than 8kg (less than 17pounds) at 16 months of age. I've tried everything, with the help of the dietician and doctors and therapists - and of course, prayer - to no avail, so far.

This week, the dietician "threatened" force-feeding through a tube. She has been talking about it already but I was really hoping it would NOT happen.

PLEASE PRAY that Shayden will start eating more and gaining weight!!!

He is such a sensitive little man and force-feeding would just make matters worse as far as his solids food-intake and general well-being is concerned.

They would first put a temporary tube down his nose. And for longer-term, he would need to have a tube put through to his stomach (in an operation). Yikes!!!

He's also had a strange thing happen to him this week that looked much like a mild seizure. I will now have to have him checked out by the paediatrician... PLEASE PRAY!

Besides the need for Shayden to be well - it is quite a challenge for me to go from doctor appointment to doctor appointment to therapist to social-worker - on top of everything else....

Kylie and Soccer

Both Kylie and Leilani have started to play soccer.

New Zealand has an incredible culture of sports - from an early age.
Every Saturday morning, you see huge fields buzzing with school-age-children doing all kinds of different sports. And parents know that that's what THEY are doing on a Saturday morning - taking the kids and cheering for them!

Today was Kylie's second time. It's SOOO funny watching all those 4-5 year olds trying to play soccer, most of them having no clue as to what they're supposed to do. I guess it's good entertainment for the parents :)!!!

This is part of Kylie's team - that was last week, before we got the "right" socks and shorts :)

Kylie got chosen as the "Player of the Day" today, especially for her DETERMINATION. She got to take a little trophie home and a certificate with a coupon for a Mac Donald burger. WOW!

On the way back home, she told me: "I want a burger-ham". When I had to keep asking her what she meant (I'm a bit slow) - she finally exclaimed with exasperation: "You know, a FAMILY MEAL!" (she meant to say a "Happy Meal") - I guess now you know how often WE go to McDonalds ... :)

She also told us today what she wants to be when she grows up:

"A letter-box (she means mailman - oops, mailwoman), a teacher, nurse, mom and store-lady, selling things."

Now we know. When Leilani told her that she was gonna be a busy lady, she just said, "Yep, I'm gonna be busy!"

The picture below was one of her creations last week. I couldn't believe it when I saw the letters. She had just made up a word with some random letters she knows (without knowing what they would spell...) After my initial shock, I noticed that the last letter is a lower case r - and not a l - like I had initially thought.

Notice the smiley faces in the letters? That's my girl!

At soccer, she regularly SKIPS through the field (instead of running) - I LOVE YOU, KYLIE, YOU ARE SOOOOO PRECIOUS!!!

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G !!!!!!!


Shocked??? So are we!!!

This week, one of those "God-things" happened to us.
Bear with me, this might be the last blog entrance for a while...:)

As you may remember, the owners of our house want to sell it. Which means it's time for us to look for another home, since we are in no position to buy it (nor would we want to).

We could stay until our furlough in November, but the owners would really like to start selling before that time, AND - with Rich's travels, the best time for us to move is end of June or beginning of July.

Soooooooo - Rich and I prayed on Tuesday - once again - that GOD would guide us to the home he has prepared for us. We really don't have the time to look around - it is SO time consuming!Last year, God promised us a "undisturbed dwelling place of peace" and I have started thanking him for that house, just like a child in anticipation of a promised trip to Disneyland :).

We weren't sure if it was going to be a long-term rental or our own home. With the rental market the way it is in NZ (very short-term oriented), we thought the only way to have that undisturbed home would be to buy.

But it just wasn't happening - even though we PRAISE GOD for an incredible gift we received for a deposit. However, interest rates at 10% just don't cut it...

On Wednesday, I ran into a former YWAMer at the store parking lot (I was in the car, leaving, she had just arrived). I hadn't seen her/talked to her for well over a year. We had a 3-minute conversation, during which she told me about this Christian lady who is getting her house ready to be rented out and I should call her.

Long story short: we will be moving into her house in a month!!!

It's AMAZING!!!!!! Although she can only PROMISE us 2 years, she thinks it could very well be longer.

It's in the absolute perfect location. We won't need to change kindergarten or schools. It is close to friends, who we will be able to car-pool with for kindergarten, school (when Kylie will go in August), soccer and youth group. It is walking distance to our church and the Prayer House.

It is beautiful, cosy, older home - with - ready for this??? - 6 bedrooms!

The owner first said it is 5 bedrooms, since she wanted to block off one to keep her furniture in. But it just so happens that we can really use her extra furniture and she's happy with that - and thus leaving us with a 6th bedroom!

We will find a boarder (very common here) - hopefully someone from the House of Prayer and with the normal pay we would get for a boarder, our rent would be the equivalent of a 2-3 bedroom house - AND we'll be able to have 5 bedrooms!!!

YAY!!! Shayden will finally be able to move out of Rich's and my bedroom ('bout time!) and Leilani won't need to share a room with Kylie anymore - OUFF!

Nathalie may need to share a big room with Jeremie just for a little bit, until she leaves for her Discipleship Training School.

Wait - not finished: the owner recognized me from the camp last January, where I took care of the children in Great Barrier Island. She has been involved with YWAM, her son IS in YWAM at the moment, she has prayed for a christian family and already refused other possible tenants, although she hasn't even advertised the house yet. She is very happy to have us, without references (!) and we're very happy, too! She will even let us keep our dog!

For the last 20 years, there has been a prayer meeting in that house once a week!

What a heritage!!!

One more thing: there is an avocado-tree on the property that gives fruit 6 months out of the year and a bunch of other fruit trees and just a bit of country/nature feel, even though in the city. Even a place for Rich's veggie-garden (he enjoys gardening!)

We are absolutely in awe of how God orchestrated this and are so excited!!!
If you knew about the rental market here, you would know how incredible this is!!!!!!!
Rents are getting very high and it is very difficult to find a decent rental, big enough for our family and accepting a dog!

Oh, there is also a piano in the house that she wants to leave there!!!! It's been Y E A R S since I've had the chance to have a piano!!!

I am NOT looking forward to packing up our whole household once again - it's so much work - and I will probably have to pretty much drop the home schooling for the next little while to make it.

Please pray for GRACE and STRENGTH and that this move won't be hugely stressful (like it always has been - arrrghh).

Don't worry if you don't hear from me for a while. Blogging is the first thing that gets dropped when time is short :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Fishing trips

Here are a few pics of a couple of fishing trips Rich did with our friend John from Tahiti.
Ya gotta love fish!!! Good thing there's plenty of it in beautiful New Zealand!

My boys - and food

Jeremie LOVES fish - I mean, he LOVES to EAT fish - not fish fish...:)

Rich LOVES to fish fish and eat fish!

Rich and our friend John from Tahiti went fishing yesterday (I'll post some photos separately) and got HEAPS of beautiful fish.

So guess what was on tonight's menu? You guessed it: Tahitian raw fish salad - a family favorite and rare treat!

PLUS - thinly sliced raw fish with a little olive oil and salt with green onions.

Here are some photos - Jeremie took close to 40 photos of the prepared fish before we ate it!!! Does that tell you something?!! The first one is the "Poisson cru" (Raw or marinated fish salad) de Tahiti! YUMMMMMMYYY!!!

Shayden does NOT love to eat fish or anything else for that matter. It's actually really a problem and his weight at 16 months is that of a 7-month-old! We've been trying everything to get him to eat, except leave junk food out on the floor for him to discover (courtesy of Leilani!)
Today he was really quiet for a long time. We were thinking that he was playing with the Duplos, when Leilani checked on him and saw him like this:

We may have found THE food for Shayden?! Or just need to let him eat on the floor as he "accidentally" finds some food?!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


"What are you wearing today, Mom?!" There comes the dreaded question again...

You may say that I should feel honored that my beautiful 18-year-old daughter even wants to wear my clothes - especially when she wants to look extra-nice (I'm not telling for who).
And I would normally like the idea of sharing clothes with my daughter.

B U T - - - here's why I'm not so happy about it: I was recently given some money for new clothes and was finally able to get a couple of nice, warm tops and some much needed new shoes - after 3 winters with - let's say - mostly grubby second-hand-cheapy-clothes (don't get me wrong, not all second-hand clothes are grubby, but mine were).

After all, we'd arrived in NZ 3 years ago as a family of 6 with no furniture, no bedding, no winter clothes (coming from Tahiti), no nothing - no extra-money. So to get dressed for winter was quite the challenge and as any mother would know, mom comes last...

You can't imagine my excitement to FINALLY get a couple of nice-looking-every-day tops and a pair of nice shoes. And I barely wear them once when I get asked - daily - to share them - which of course then makes them dirty, used etc....

I know I could feel flattered -but I don't and I guess the only way to remedy the situation is for me to get her some nice new clothes, too. Just figured that out while writing - I knew blogs are good for something :)
And then I'll ask her to share with me - which I'm sure she'll gladly do.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Today was the day...

6 weeks after we received our "Invitation to apply for Residency", we FINALLY sent off a whole pile of paperwork (everything that they requested) to New Zealand Immigration!!!

We are soooooooooooo relieved and thankful to have come to this point!!!

Now we need to pray that they would look on our file favourably and that we would get our "Permanent Residency" - and get it sssooooooooonn!!!

They say it takes 3-6 months until we will hear from them wether they want us to live here or not.

Pleeeaaassse, Lord...!!!