Friday, July 31, 2009

Whew - - - where did the last 10 days go?!
There is too much to write - - - maybe I'll have a chance to fill you in sometime - soon? -
Don't be fooled - no activity on this blog doesn't mean nothin' happenin'... naaahhh!
Quite the contrary :)

We are all well - again - and everything is great.
Thanks for checking in - hopefully more soon...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Just letting you know...

... that Rich and Jeremie are back home since last night!

It's WONDERFUL to all be together again as a family!

And interestingly enough - nobody sick for the first time since they left - hmmmm

They had an AMAZING time - - -

and I am not going to spend my time blogging, there's lots to catch up with hubby while the 2 little ones are off to sleep and the 3 older ones at youthgroup.

I'm one happy camper - even found some amazing-smelling spring-flowers in our yard today, can you believe it?!
Only in NZ do you find spring-flowers in the dead of winter (tells you how "dead" winter is here - hihi) - but still freezing enough for me...

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Rich and Jeremie are back in the capital of Fiji, Suva.
Their outreach went GREAT and they LOVED it both!!!
Thank you for your prayers!!!

They could be coming home tonight, but will only be coming late Tuesday night.
They saved $800 in airfare for staying the extra time (on the ship).
As much as they would love to come home today - and as much as I would like them to BE home, the savings are worth it!

And they may even be able to stop by the orphanage that I visited a couple of years ago and talk with the director about some fundraising I'd like to do - - - suspense :)

Anyways, as awesome as their time was, so was my time at home difficult. I'll spare you the details, but there has been constant sickness (the kids and me) and it's not been fun.

As I was sitting at the clinic with Shayden last week, force-feeding him Pedialite every minute for a couple of hours to prevent him having to go to the hospital due to dehydration (when he had croup), I was overcome with GRATEFULNESS.

When my little one is sick, I can go to the doctor (for free) at any time and all the help I need is at my fingertips. How amazing is that?!!!

The people that Rich and Jeremie were serving these last couple of weeks don't have that luxury.

And neither do the majority of the world population.

If we were living where they are and it was NOT the week where the boat was there, the outcome of Shayden being sick could have been bleak.

What an honour and small sacrifice to allow my men to be gone from home to help the needy islanders - just for a SHORT time!

I AM BLESSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


You've heard me write a fair bit about the Call2All that we're involved in. Rich was at the recent on in HongKong. This is exciting stuff! Listen to Mark Anderson, who is also the director for Impact World Tour International.

On the home front, I don't even really want to say it - but - I've been sick again - and Kylie, too.
It's absolutely crazy... and I don't understand.
I guess we couldn't really get away from Shayden coughing all over us (especially me) last week; and he was contagious - there you go. I'm very tired but ok; I've had some help with household and kids. God is taking good care of me/us!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Home alone - almost

Nathalie and Leilani left this morning for a youth camp for 4 days.
It will be strange being at home - just about alone - with only Kylie and Shayden.
Quieter for sure. A bit lonely maybe?
Don't worry, I've made some plans. I'm expecting these days to be GOOD!

Rich and Jeremie made it well to the second island where they are now ministering.
All is well with them and they LOVE what they're doing.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shayden's GOTCHA day!

In adoptions, you consider the baby/child's first day in his adoptive family the GOTCHA day.
Even though we can't adopt Shayden, we still celebrate his Gotcha day - he has been with us for exactly 2 years TODAY!!! WOW!!!

This past week, he has been the sickest ever. He actually had croup, almost ended up at the hospital... but thank God, he is much better now, almost healed!

Here's a letter I wrote him today. I don't think he minds you reading it :)
It's a bit long...

My most precious little boy, Shayden,

Exactly 2 years ago today was when you became part of our family.
Those of us here today (Daddy and Jeremie are in Fiji) celebrated the special event with ice-cream, yeah!

I can still remember it as if it was yesterday:
I was EXTREMELY excited to meet you and could hardly contain myself in the hours leading up to the early afternoon of July, 12th, 2007!

Rich, Nathalie and Jeremie were all overseas, so the welcome committee was small with just Leilani, Kylie and me, but that was perfect.
If everybody had been home, we would have probably overwhelmed you with the decibel of noise that is “normal” in the Betts-house.

The first question the social worker asked me was if I could handle a crying baby.
She meant a baby that cries a lot, like non-stop, as you seemed to have been doing most of the day and particularly all the way from your former caregiver to our house.

Even though you did cry a fair bit (off and on for 1 ½ hours), meeting you was magical!

I had been dreaming and strongly desiring to take care of a baby for a LOOOONG time, and here, you were, Shayden!

You looked so handsome in the beautiful clothes that you were wearing, strapped in your car-seat that was put on our dining room table!

And yes, you were a bit distressed, but lots of cuddles and distractions had you calmed down soon, especially after your bath, which you loved (still do now).

While I was feeding you the evening-bottle, we gazed into each other’s eyes and you even started smiling and laughed straight into my face – WOW!!!
I was smitten with you right away, and so were Leilani and Kylie.
We were all in wonder and amazement of this precious little boy that was entrusted into our care – for what we thought was going to be 2-3 months.

You slept through the night that first night, which I was most impressed by!
I had absolutely no idea how this transition was going to be for you and had every reason to believe that you were completely traumatised. I was, after all, your 5th caregiver in your short 6 months of being on this earth!

As I listened to your regular breathing as you were peacefully sleeping in the portacot next to me, I was SOOO thrilled and in awe that FINALLY “the baby” had arrived – YOU!!! I could hardly sleep all night, I was so stirred up, and I loved you already!

You were so small, Shayden, and fragile. You couldn’t hold up your head or hold a toy in your hands, you barely moved, couldn’t turn around, just lay wherever you were put. But this didn’t hinder the smiles from breaking through.
We could see very soon that you had a very happy disposition and you conquered our hearts in no time at all!
Today, you are still beautiful, inside and out! I LOVE you more than words can express, just the same way I love the children that were born from me!

When your body is resting on mine with your head snuggling on my shoulder, when you look at me with those trusting, adoring eyes and when you give me those wet kisses (all those things you did today), my heart just melts away…

When I look at you, asleep, just before I go to bed at night, my heart always does an extra-beat of joy and happiness.

You have enriched our family in ways that we had no idea 2 years ago.
And who would have thought that you would still be with us – and not just that – but that you would become a part of our family FOREVER!!! We are so privileged!!!

The first time I even considered that you might be able to stay with us (I had just talked to somebody that was pretty sure that that would be a possibility), I almost had a car accident because I was beside myself, I was so excited!

You are a precious treasure, as I tell you every day.
You are a happy, confident, cheeky, active, curious toddler, walking and starting to talk, full of mischief, getting into everything and always ready to smile or make a face, with a strong love for books, nature and animals.
You are easy-going (except for when you throw a tantrum, which is necessary, too!).
Both Daddy and I never hesitate taking you with us to the supermarket or the mall. You are ALWAYS happy and content when we’re out and about, we can count on that! Amazing!

You have been through so much and we are overjoyed that we were able to embrace you into our family 2 years ago. You are loved by every person in this family and always will be!!! And it is our prayer that you would come to know the one who IS LOVE and has loved you from the very moment you were conceived!

Your loving, grateful mummy

If you want to see photos from back then, check this out

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sailing again...

As I am typing, Rich, Jeremie and the others are sailing from the first island they ministered in to the second one. It is normally a 8hour sail. Rich said that they had strong winds yesterday, not such good conditions...

Lord, I pray that you would calm the winds and give them a smooth trip!

They had a VERY good week. They treated about 50-60 patients daily in the villages and performed 10 eye-operations a day, as well as providing countless people with prescription and reading glasses.

Jeremie and the construction team were able to make 4 water containers with local materials. That's GOOD, since many health issues stem from polluted drinking water because of the dirty plastic containers that are holding the water.
Not only do the islanders now have the new containers, but they know how to make more themselves whenever needed (the team left a mold), instead of waiting for a boat to come by with a new plastic one.

I think that's WONDERFUL!!!!

They will be doing the same thing in the next island. Go boys, GO!!!

Jeremie is well again - it was only a 24hour bug. Praise God!

No more news from this 2nd phone call, since we have to keep it short and Rich also wanted to know how things were going at home; which took a while to explain, because it's been quite a week. Maybe more on that another time. Got to go...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Anybody else out there that feels like they need to go to bed every night at 8pm?! (only happens when I act as solo mom)

I'm exhausted every night and since I don't want to wake up at 3am, force myself to stay up a lil longer.

Blogging is good for that :)

I don't know what it is - I'm not sick, just had a full day - once again - and battling an unbelievable back ache - once again - last one happened during Rich's last trip.

I hope and pray my back holds out - I can barely carry Shayden, let alone bring in the firewood...
Anyways, just a short update;

Rich called this morning from his cell phone - just for a couple of minutes, since it's very expensive. They had their first day of ministry yesterday.

Rich is part of the primary health care team.

They went into a village and treated 60-70 people.

If he is doing what was planned, he welcomes the patients and prepares them to see a nurse/doctor, takes blood pressure, pulse, ministers the love of God, all that good stuff...

He's lovin' it - I bet he is!

He would have made a good doctor :)

At the boat, they are having eye surgeries.

The only news he gave about Jeremie is that we should pray for him as he seems to have stayed up in the night with the big D - let the reader understand :)

Here is a short video presentation of Marine Reach Ministries (YWAM).
Before you watch it, you need to turn off the music at the bottom of the blog.

Monday, July 6, 2009

More sickness...

My poor little darling Shayden is miserable.

He had been so healthy during the last 3 months and I was already confident that he'd be able to make it through the winter without being sick.


He woke up yesterday morning crying and breathing heavily - with a temperature.

I took him to the doctor today because his breathing was worrying me.

He's got bronchitis.

As much as I dislike him being so sick, I am glad that I am able to comfort him.

When he came to our family almost 2 years ago (!), he also had several bouts of being sick.

It is the worst feeling as a mother when you're NOT in tune with your little one and able to figure out what he needs and how to comfort him - just because you haven't known him and don't know his cues...

And I'm sure for him it was lots worse - having a "stranger" take care of you when you most need somebody that really knows what you need...

I felt so bad for him then - - - and am grateful for the attachment and bonding that's happened in the meantime!

I just knew holding him for a while, singing quietly, and then laying him down again (on his subtle cue) and gently massaging his face would calm him down (just a few minutes ago) when he woke up crying.

Nathalie was also sick in bed today - what is it with this sickness stuff?! Enough already!!!!!!

I realize sooooooo many people all around us are battling the same stuff, but I'd really like to the see the HEALING POWER of JESUS manifest in our family's bodies! Would you please pray with me?

Got a text from Rich. They arrived safely at the first of 2 islands they are going to be ministering in. Seems like they had smooth sailing with great weather. NICE!!!

By the way, there won't be any photos until the men are back - they took the camera:)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Amazing to think...

... that while I am putting wood on the fire to warm up the house and am typing with a hot water bottle in my lap (which, by the way, will also follow me to bed - VERY soon!), Rich and Jeremie are probably hot as can be...
... and that's just 3 hours flying north :)

Friday, July 3, 2009


While I'm just about ready to "hit the pillow" after what seemed like a long day, Rich and Jeremie still have a few hours to go.
Kylie woke Rich and me up this morning just after 5am...
Rich and Jeremie left the house at 7am, took a bus to Auckland airport - actually 2 and it took 4 and 1/2 hours! - I guess that's when you wanna save money:)

They should have landed in Nadi, Fiji about an hour ago and should be taking a van to Suva pretty soon. If all goes smoothly, they should be on board the boat sometime around midnight... The boat is scheduled to leave tomorrow afternoon.

Lots of shoulds - - - I'm just thinking of them...

Jeremie was so excited to go! He still has vivid memories of a King's Kids outreach we did in a very remote island in French Polynesia - and he was only 5! He apparently LOVED it - in spite of being sick like a dog on the boat.

Tomorrow's boat trip is a day and a half... pretty similar to the one we're talking about:)
I feel sea-sickness coming on just by the thought of it... haha!

Today was Leilani's and Kylie's last day of school - before a 2-week-break!
They made it half-way through the school year - well done, girls!!!
Starting out with a soccer game for Leilani first thing in the morning.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


While I'm procastinating mending Jeremie's shorts , just a few thoughts - - -

Rich and Jeremie are leaving tomorrow morning early for almost 3 weeks on an outreach to the outer islands of Fiji. I don't normally feel great just before Rich leaves. I miss him when he's gone and there seems to be a regular occurence of "stuff" that happens which makes his absence even harder.
A couple of days ago, my heart was starting to feel heavy again, even more so as I know there will most likely be no chance of regular emails or phone calls ...

Today, it hit me - or maybe it was God speaking to me? - that instead of being sad that they are leaving, I should be CELEBRATING as I release them to go.

We are truly blessed! Why?
  • We get the privilege to invest our lives into people's eternal destinies! I can't imagine anything I'd rather invest myself into!!!
  • We are both healthy and fit - how many others struggle in their health majorly and would not be able to either go (like Rich) or stay back by themselves with 4 kids (like me)
  • We are being supported by friends and family so that we can extend our lives to the poor, needy and lost in Jesus' place - in other words, God is providing so that they can go (some of the expenses still need to be covered)

I have way more reasons to CELEBRATE than to feel sorry for myself, and that's what I've been choosing to do all day - feels great - and helps Rich, too, when he sees me celebrating the chance for him to go rather than see me down. So, it's a win-win! YAY!!!