Friday, December 7, 2012

Early Morning Parade!

Around 4:45 this morning we woke up to the sound of drums banging and yelling. We could hear it steadily progress around the streets of our neighborhood. It eventually came to our circle and very slowly (or so it seemed) went around and after waking everyone in the house up they finally left. Stu wanted to go out on the balcony with his paintball gun and start shooting. We found out it was a group from the school in out neighborhood celebrating that they were done taking their tests for the semester. Talk about frustrating!

I spent another week in bed. I am starting to feel very lazy! No, I wasn't taking it easy, I was very sick (AGAIN!). I finally went to the doctor and found out I had a VERY BAD sinus infection and also a stomach virus that was going around.  Did I mention that it was right before Thanksgiving, so I didn't get to enjoy my Thanksgiving dinner. The two together knocked me out. I am finally back on my feet and trying to stay that way. Except for severe tooth pain! It feels like a cracked tooth (I had one on the other side last year). I guess I clench my teeth at night but I can't wear a mouth guard because it makes me gag as soon as I put it in (I have a very strong gag reflex). I think I will have to give in and go to the dentist soon. I just keep hoping it will miraculously go away. I can't seem to stay well this year.

Stu has been having shoulder pain that has progressively gotten worse. He can't even lift his arm at times. He finally got an MRI and found out that it is a split biceps tendon. It has to be repaired by arthroscopic surgery but there is not a doctor here that can do it. He will either have to go to the States to have it done or wait for a doctor to come down here. We are praying that God will provide a way to have the surgery done because he is in so much pain.

Stu has been busy this month preaching. He has preached at 3 different places. One weekend he preached at one place on Friday night and then another place Saturday night and all day Sunday! That same Sunday Josh was in the States, so me and Joy were on our own. Thankfully we have some good men in our church to lead the services. But on that Sunday night right before the service was to start, one of our teenage boys was hit by a car in front of the church. So the man that was supposed to teach the teen class took him to the hospital and we had to rearrange a few things. Thankfully it wasn't bad, he only fractured his knee.

We have been busy preparing for our busy month of December. We have Christmas Cantata this Sunday night and a Christmas dinner next Sunday night. I lead the kids choir and they will be singing a few songs at the dinner. They are excited about it. My boys are in the kid's choir and Jesse just can not stand still. When he is up there, he is looking around, wiggling, a typical Dennis the Menace! I have the hardest time leading the other kids because I am watching him and trying to get his attention to "give him the look". Of course, everyone else thinks it is funny!

The boys are eagerly counting down to Christmas. They started asking "how many days" the day after Thanksgiving. My mom sent us a big bag of chocolates that we can't get here and I separated them into baggies and put numbers on them and clipped them on a rope. That is how we are counting down. Every morning, as soon as they wake up, they get the bag for the day and ask for their chocolate. This is the only time I let them eat chocolate before breakfast!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

My birthday was Friday, but it felt like I had a three day birthday. We celebrated all weekend! Friday, Juls made me breakfast and then we went to Chili's for lunch. The workers at Chili's all came out and sang to me, well it wasn't really singing, it was more like banging on the drum and yelling. It was a little embarrassing, but the kids really enjoyed it! The dessert was good!
Then we had ladies fellowship at church on Saturday evening. When it was time for food they surprised me by bringing out a cake and singing to me. They also threw water in my face. Apparently there are a couple of traditions here that they do to the birthday person. One is dumping a cup of water on their head (I got it in the face) and the other is breaking an egg over their head. I was threatened with that but thankfully they didn't do it.
And tonight in the teen class (that Stu teaches and I help in) when I came into class they surprised me with another cake and sang to me again. I felt very loved, especially when Stu told me that they planned it all by themselves, he didn't find out until today.
I've also been opening a present every day this month from my mom, which has been fun! Thanks also to all my friends who have called or sent birthday messages to me. I appreciate your thoughtfulness!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


The kids had dentist appointments yesterday afternoon. Stu and the girls got their braces adjusted (Delayna got her lower ones put on) and the boys had their teeth cleaned and checked. The boys had no cavities! Yay! The last time they went in Jesse had 9 and Seth had 6, so you can see why I am so excited.  Jesse has not had a good history at the dentist and it started out that way again. He screamed and fought so we had to hold him for part of it. After a bit he did sit on his own and let her clean. I am hoping he will outgrow his fear because he sure is hard to hold down.
When we left to go home the traffic was so bad that we decided to stop at Ikea until some of the traffic died down. I didn't tell the kids where we were going I just said we were going somewhere special. They wanted me to give them a hint so I said it starts with I. They couldn't guess so I said the building is blue and the words are yellow. Immediately Jesse yelled IKEA! We were all shocked that he guessed it so easy. He said, "I thinked, with my mind". Then we were walking in the store and the boys were singing, "Ikea was a wee little man..." We'll have to work on their Bible teaching. :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Kids, they make me laugh!

Last night we had lots of rain and some thunder. At the first clap of thunder Jesse came running in with his ears covered to crawl into bed with us. After a few minutes and several very loud claps of thunder it started raining harder so I went into the boys room to check the windows. When I got in there Seth was laying in his bed with his ears covered. He told me he was very scared but he was staying in bed like I told him. Of course I let him come into our room too! I didn't get much sleep the rest of the night though. Neither one of them would take their hands off of their ears.
The other day Seth had pushed a girl and I gave him a "talk" about it.  I told him that he should never hurt a girl and if he ever saw anyone else being mean to a girl he should step in between then and tell the guy to back off! So last night after church he came home and told me there was a boy being mean to a girl so he got in between them and tried to tell the guy to back off. I asked how he said it and he told me he said "back off", but he said it with a Spanish accent. It was so funny.
Jesse was talking to Katlyn yesterday on the way home from church and Jesse said something about his Nanny. Katlyn said, "I have a Nanny too". Jesse said that his Nanny always sends him presents. Katlyn said that her Nanny didn't. Jesse looked at her with such shock on his face and said, "WHAT!", he couldn't believe that her Nanny didn't send presents. Katlyn quickly replied, "but I love her anyways!".

Saturday, October 6, 2012

School, Spanish, Sickness and PRESENTS!

We got back from vacation, unpacked and started school! We have been staying busy ever since.  We have had a men's work night, a youth activity, a ladies conference and several of the teens over to the house one Sunday. Delayna had a dentist appointment to have two teeth pulled. We and several of our missionary friends took all of our kids to a local store that has several jumping castles they set up. It is about $3 a kid to jump as long as they want. The kids had a blast and there were only a couple of minor injuries. Jesse and another little girl bumped heads and he gave her a bloody nose. Seth got tackled (he kept saying trampled) and sprained his thumb, it was swollen, bruised and very tender for several days. Afterwards we ate inside at the food court. It was a nice evening out. Also, Stu has started taking some online Spanish classes that I am trying to sit in on (when I can). It makes my mornings a little chaotic, trying to  juggle school, cooking and Spanish class, but I am managing. 
We have also dealt with a bit of sickness. I had another bout with Bronchitis, but am finally feeling better now. Jesse has had some ear problems, again!  Two weeks ago he started having blood drain out of his ear and then he got a cold and now has major mucous coming out of his ear (I know it is gross). I tried to get him an appointment with an ear doctor but that didn't work.  So I guess we will wait and see what happens. Then last Saturday night Stu came down with what we believe was Dengue Fever. He has had a pretty miserable week, but is feeling a bit better now. 
We use a mail service here called Agape Flights and they fly our mail in every week. They fly in on Thursdays and stay the night with one of the missionaries and then fly out the next morning.  This week was our turn to host them. We always enjoy having them, especially the kids. This week they brought me a very special package from my mom. My birthday is the 19th and since my mom knows how much I love getting presents, she sent me a box full of them! I have a present to open each day of the month. It is so much fun! She has done this for the grandkids before too and they love it almost as much as me! :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Since we had been doing school all summer, we were really looking forward to our one week of vacation. We found a great deal online at an all inclusive resort on the north shore and I booked it (cause all inclusive means vacation for me too!).
We were planning on leaving Monday, Sept. 3rd at around 11 am. Sunday on the way home from church something happened to our van so first thing Monday morning it had to go to the shop. You can imagine how restless the kids were as we were waiting to leave. 11 came and went with no van, so we ordered pizza to try to start our vacation anyways. After about a million times of me answering the question, "are we leaving yet?" we got our van at around 4pm. We loaded as quick as possible and hit the road before 4:30. Our first stop was just a few minutes down the road to get propane. Since everyone has to get out, I took them all in to use the bathroom (cause we forgot in the rush of loading) and to get a drink. What a surprise, I found a cold can of Dr Pepper. I have been searching the city for the last month for Dr Peppers and there hasn't  been any! That started my vacation out right. :)
We finally arrived at the resort around 7:45 and went straight to the buffet to eat. Did I mention we could eat and drink 24 hours a day!?!
We had a great week. We enjoyed the beach, go carts, dune buggies, horse back riding and lots of eating.  Anytime we went to the beach, Jesse played in the sand the whole time and Juls and Seth jumped in the waves the whole time. Juls and Seth came home with a sunburn. Juls' was so bad on her nose that she has red, bloody raw spots.
Finally on the road!

Go carts!

Bumper cars

Jesse's sand cave

Our little piece of the beach

Loading up on sunscreen

The resort

Making sand angels

Look out! Delayna's driving!

Jesse's favorite place, the buffet!
So now we are home and back to school. The kids are already looking forward to Christmas break. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sick and tired!

Since my last post I have pretty much spent my time in bed. Have I enjoyed it? NO! I have been very sick for the last three weeks. The week after VBS, when I was in extreme pain, was possibly viral meningitis. That pain finally eased up on Friday. I was very weak over that weekend since I hadn't been eating. I also lost 7 pounds that week, but I would not recommend that method. :) Then on Monday I started coughing. It got worse and worse each day until finally the next Tuesday I went to the doctor and found out I had Bronchitis. My husband was in the States that week (he was preaching in Buffalo, NY), so the kids helped me a lot. Then we had Tropical storm Isaac pass by. We had three days straight of rain. My hubby came home in the middle of it.  I am finally starting to feel better, but still coughing some and get tired very quickly. I am just so happy to be up out of bed getting stuff done. I had so many projects I wanted to get done last week, but that didn't happen. 
We are still working on last years school work, but are getting close to being done. Next week we are taking a week off. We are going on vacation here on the island. We are all so excited, I think mostly because no school for a week! Then we will start school for this year when we get back. Unfortunately I am thinking next week will go by too fast.  Jesse will be starting Kindergarten, Seth will be starting 1st grade, Julianna will be starting 8th grade and Delayna will be starting 10th grade. I am not sure how I am going to teach Jesse and Seth different grades at the same time, but I am hoping to figure something out. Any ideas from some of you who have done would be appreciated. Also would love to have your favorite quick and easy meal, since I am juggling cooking while I'm teaching. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012


We had VBS or Escuela Biblica De Verano last week and boy was it a crazy week!!! We had been planning on 75 kids and on Monday we only had a few more than that. From Tuesday on there was over 100 every day. I was driving our van picking up people and Stu was driving the Wesson's truck. Tuesday after he got to the church we realized he had a flat tire, so as soon as he got things started inside he went out to change it. Found out that the spare was flat too, so we went to get that fixed and got back to get it put on. I ended up having to take all the kids home because he wasn't done fixing it in time. Wednesday everything seemed to go smoothly until we got home and realized we had left Delayna at the church. Stu thought I had her and I thought he had her.  She ended up staying with a lady from our church until services that night. Thursday we discovered that Myra (our German Shepherd) was very sick, I won't go into details. So as soon as we got home from VBS we took her to the vet and then had to go to the airport to get the missionaries mail, then stopped by the house for a few minutes and went out and made a few visits. I forgot to mention that I had a migraine everyday from Sunday on, so I was struggling to drive with the pain. Nothing seemed to get rid of it. Friday, last day, all the workers were going to come to my house afterwards for hot dogs and fun. The truck had another flat tire, no it wasn't flat it literally fell apart. I had to go meet Stu to get the kids from him and take them to the church. Then we found someone to go search for a tire for us. They got a tire, although a little small, that worked and just in time to take the kids home! Then we hauled everyone to our house for the afternoon. Things went well, but I was sure glad it was over! I was exhausted! Oh yeah, our record number of people in our 12 passenger van was broken with 36 people!!!
Sunday night we had a special program at the church for the VBS kids and their parents, it went very well!
Monday turned very ugly for me. I woke up in EXTREME pain in my entire body. I have been sick ever since. I have been in severe pain, upset stomach and fever. I have pretty much been bed bound, which I hate, especially knowing how much I have to do. If I could just get rid of the pain, I think I would be fine. I am about to try some different medicine now and am hoping to get some pain relief and some sleep! My girls have been a huge help while I've been sick. Juls has got up every morning with the boys and made breakfast and basically taken care of them all day. Delayna has cooked lunch and help keep me supplied with water. I am so thankful for them, but I am hoping to be back on my feet soon!

My boys don't stand out with their white heads, do they?!

Ready for craft time.

Loading up the truck, packing them in!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Beach Birthday!

Julianna's 13th birthday is Friday and we gave her the option of a party or a day with a couple of friends. She chose to take a couple of friends to the beach, so we spent the day at the beach. We had a great time, until the end when Jesse stepped on a Sea Urchin and had several of the spines break off in his foot. He is hurting but we have his foot soaking in vinegar right now, hoping that will dissolve them. We had cupcakes and somehow the icing ended up all over Juls' face. :) Then we came home and had pizza and coke! Now we are all ready for bed and it is only 6:30. It's back to work tomorrow, we are still working on school and I'm still trying to catch up on finances  reports. Maybe I can stay awake until 8:30!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy 17th Anniversary!!

Yesterday was Canada Day and our 17th anniversary. It's hard to believe we have already been married 17 years. During those 17 years we have lived in Texas, Canada and the Dominican Republic. We have been through deputation twice and took a trip to Papua New Guinea. We have had many adventures and are looking forward to many more.

Today Stu and the girls left for camp. The girls love going to camp, although they really miss Camp YES.  They were so excited last week they were counting down the days. I know they will come home Thursday and fall into bed exhausted! As for me I am going to try to catch up on some office work while they are gone.

What a crazy Friday we had this week! It was one of those days where all kinds of things happened.  We had an electrician come over to install an air conditioner (Yes, we finally will have one room that we have air in sometimes) in our office. We have used this electrician many times and he is very careful and thorough, but he must have been having a rough day. First thing that morning he drilled a huge hole in the wrong spot, so he had to move over and start again. We later had to patch the hole and still have to paint it. Then they had to go get some parts that they were missing. When they came back they realized that some of the parts were the wrong size, so Stu had to go back out (in the Friday traffic) and get them changed. When he came back from that an hour or so later, the electrician pointed out that we had been given the wrong size A/C. We had paid for a 18,000 BTU and only got a 12,000 BTU. We are not sure why he waited until 5pm to point that out, but at least he finally did. So they had to take it down off the roof and go back to the store to exchange it. They finally made it back and after a few more small problems, finished installing it. Then because it was so late, the electrician called a taxi. After waiting around for a while, he finally decided to walk to the entrance and try to catch the taxi there. I'm not sure exactly what happened from there except that the taxi finally came and was mad that the electrician wasn't there and said he was going to sit at my gate until I paid him! About the same time a bucket caught fire in our backyard, thanks to my boys, and Stu had walked around the corner and I had no keys to lock my front gate! It may not seem very chaotic in writing, but it was a crazy day.

Last Saturday we celebrated Delayna's 15th birthday with a Quince ( a tradition in Spanish cultures). We didn't do it up as big as some do, but we had a nice party. Stu did a nice service and presented her with several gifts that had special meanings. Afterwards we had food and games and cake with purple and black icing that turned everyone's mouths black. :) She looked beautiful and had a great time. Her only disappointment with her birthday this year is that she hasn't received any cards in the mail yet. Every mail day she runs in and grabs the mail to look for cards. I keep telling her they usually come late here, but she's not sure about that.

Juls' birthday is coming up on the 13th of this month, she will be 13. She chose not to have a party this year, instead she is inviting two friends over for a special day at the beach.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mail Day!

There is no mail service here in the DR,  but we are blessed to have Agape Flights. They fly our mail in every Thursday. The boys are learning the days of the week and they know Wednesday as church day and Thursday as mail day. We are so thankful for Agape Flights and the service they provide us. We were honored to host the pilots this week. When they fly in on Thursdays they spend the night and fly back to Florida on Friday morning. The missionaries here take turns hosting them. My kids love having the pilots here,  but the boys were a little confused last night. They were expecting the pilots to bring them lots of mail since they were staying at our house. I really don't know why they thought that, but they kept asking where their mail was. :) Thankfully they at least got a box of Goldfish that I had requested(Agape also picks stuff up for us and brings it in) , since we can't get them here and they are my boys favorite snack!
Thanks guys for spending a day away from your family to bring us our mail!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

War on Rats!

Well, since I have officially declared war on rats the body count is up to 4 plus the one that I let go. I think in my last post we had found one dead and one spotted, but not caught. A few days later we found a dead one in the front yard, that was easy! Then we were doing some cleaning in my craft room and when the bottom drawer of my dresser was taken out a rat came running out. Stu and a guy that was here working on my washer shut themselves up in that room until they chased the rat out and killed it. Yay, another one gone! Then last night while Stu was gone on visitation, before dark, I went down to the kitchen to make sure everything was cleaned up and I heard something. I slowly started looking around and then I saw it! I huge rat on top of my stove! Gross!!! I quickly walked outside with the heebie jeebies!  I saw my neighbor out, another missionary, and asked if he wanted to chase down a rat. He came in and tried to find it but never could, so he set up a slue trap by the stove and blocked all the other ways out. When Stu got home we went on the attack! We brought in Myra, our German Shepherd, (who was actually a big chicken) and shut all the doors. Stu then started banging on the stove and pulling it apart to try to find the rat. After probably 10 minutes, the rat finally ran out and toward the living room where me and Juls were standing. I'm ashamed to say I took off screaming and running for the stairs. I came back down and Stu started flipping couches over and pulling everything out from the walls, as I stood guard by the stairs. :) We checked everywhere, banging everything and it seemed the rat had disappeared. Then I saw it! It had been hiding up  on a ledge under the table and had finally come down. After running back and forth for a few minutes it ran to the top of one of my dining room chairs and stood there on it's hind legs looking for a window to escape out of.  That made me think of every rat movie I had ever seen where the rat always seems to outwit the person hunting it. I think I will ban those movies from our house now. :) Anyways, it finally ran back into the kitchen with all of us chasing it and thankfully got stuck to the glue trap. Stu put it out of it's misery and got rid of it. He immediately wen to the store and bought about 10 more glue traps.
So now, we were up to a body count of 4. We checked all the traps this morning and hadn't caught anymore until lunch time...
This is what I found!
He was such a cute little rat that I decided to let him go!!! :)
So the war continues...

Friday, May 11, 2012


We have still been crazy busy trying to catch up! We finally have all of the kids school work so they have been working hard at that everyday. I have been teaching the boys which has been a challenge. First of all, my talent is not teaching! Second of all, Jesse, well, let's just say he is a bit of a challenge. He can not sit still and will not focus and stops every 30 seconds to do something or check something out or ask a question about something totally off subject or pick up his pencil which he knocked on the floor. I think you get the picture. One day I was so frustrated because he would not say any of his letters or read any blends. Stu walked in and asked what was wrong, so I started to tell him but decided to show him instead. So I had Seth read through a blend ladder, he did it perfectly. Then we went to Jesse, who had not even got one letter right all morning, I told him to read the blend ladder and he read through it perfectly also! Obviously Stu couldn't figure out why I was frustrated. So now I know that he knows it and can do it when he WANTS to!
Speaking of Jesse, we took the kids to a new Wendy's here with a nice indoor playground (hard to find nice ones here). He was playing and he stood in front of the slide as a Dominican kid came down. The kid, in Spanish, told him to move. Jesse stood there, not moving, with a big smile on his face and said "si" (which means yes). So the kid punched him in the face. Poor Jesse hadn't understood what the kid said and thought he was doing good by answering in Spanish. :)
Doesn't he make you think of Dennis the Menace?

"Toothless Wonder"
He is actually missing two now, I just didn't take another picture.
Besides school and catching up on paper and office work, we have waged a war on rats! We started seeing evidence of them in our house and so we did some cleaning and put some poison out. A few days later we found a dead one in the school room, it was as long as my hand without the tail. Good Riddance! Then last night the boys were downstairs and started yelling, "a mouse, we saw a mouse!". I went down and couldn't find anything but a while later Juls was downstairs and I heard her start screaming, "a rat!". She had seen a rat in the kitchen longer than her had without the tail. So when Stu got home, he checked it all out and couldn't find it. He fixed a hole in the screen that we suspected it had been coming in and he shut the windows. This morning when I went down, it had already chewed another hole in the screen! Thankfully with the window shut it couldn't get in. So we are hoping to kill a few more of those in the very near future. I have been watching my step when I go down in the mornings. I will win this war!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Little Boys

On Sunday nights I teach the 3-6 year olds. It is a bilingual class since mine and Joy's little ones don't speak much Spanish yet. So for the past few weeks I have had a new little boy in there who is about 5 years old. He is very cute, but very talkative! The other night was a very hectic night in class, I had a class full of kids and was having a bit of trouble keeping up with them all. It was one of those nights that I felt like I would rather be somewhere else (admit it, we all have those days). Then this little boy walks up to me and starts whispering in my ear...."Tu eres la mejor profesora en todo el mundo" (you are the best teacher in the whole world). Of course my heart melted and I realized I was right where I was supposed to be.
Here at home, one of my sweet boys had quite the experience today. Seth and Jesse were playing and Jesse accidentally kicked Seth in the mouth. He hit him right on his loose tooth and it came out, and Seth swallowed it. When he came up and told me, I didn't believe him at first because Delayna had been teasing him about losing it while he was eating and swallowing it, so I thought he was joking. But, no, he really did swallow it. :)

Friday, April 13, 2012


I started the boys in Kindergarten two weeks ago and was not looking forward to it. It has been going ok, but yesterday Jesse was having a rough day. He couldn't seem to concentrate or do anything right. He kept getting frustrated and upset, and then I would get frustrated and upset. At one point I guess he couldn't take it any more and he burst into tears and said, "I want my Nanny!". It was so sad and cute at the same time. :)
We were hoping that Delayna's school work would come in our our mail flight yesterday, but it didn't. She now has another week with no school and is getting further and further behind. Please pray that it comes in next week. We are not looking forward to doing school all summer, but I guess it could be worse. Although I am trying to figure out how it could be worse. :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Our Comedians

Our boys keep us laughing and I have tried to make it a point to keep a record of the funny things they say. This blog is where I have been keeping it, so here are their latest antics.
Stu had to fix a pipe and in the middle of cutting it his saw broke and water started pouring out everywhere. He was frantically trying to get it stopped and Jesse walked up and said, "Dad, what were you thinking!?". You can't tell what we ask him all the time, can you?
Then we have Seth, the quieter one. He was praying for lunch the other day and in the middle of his prayer said, "Lord, please help Jesse to close his eyes while I am praying.".
As you can see we are never at a loss for laughter in our house.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Furlough is finally over!

Well after a very exciting 7 (turned into 8) months on furlough, we have made it home. I know most of you have kept up with everything that happened on either Facebook or through Stu's letters, but for my own personal record (this is the only journal I keep) I want to recount what happened. 
The kids had been counting down for months, ready to be home. Actually everyone was ready to be home, to our ministry, people, and to our own beds! It was close, only 3 days to go! We left my family and headed to Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25th. We arrived at the motel after dark, I had a sick headache, it was cold and windy and everyone was ready to get inside. We opened the U-haul trailer and just grabbed what we would need to get us through the night, and dressed for church the next morning. My head was hurting so bad that all I could think about was drugs and a bed! We closed up the van and trailer, backed it up against a light pole and went inside. It was a very nice motel and seemed to be in a decent area of town (although it was dark, so I guess I couldn't really tell). 
The next morning we were close to being ready to go and Delayna had forgotten to bring her church shirt in, so Stu and Juls headed out to the van to get her shirt and carry a few things out on the way. They came running back in a few minutes later, Stu frantically asked me if I had moved the van. Of course, I hadn't and when I answered he said, "It's Gone!!!". The van, trailer, 10 suitcase and 6 carry-on's were gone! We immediately went to the front desk to call the police. I called the Pastor we were going to be with and explained why we were' going to be there and then called the man who owned the van and told him what happened. We spent a couple of hours talking to the police and trying to remember all that was in the van, At the time I couldn't think of anything that was in the van! Ever since then, I have been remembering things one by one. In the middle of the night I will sit up and remember something new that we "lost". We lost Passports (11 of them, Canadian and American), Canadian citizenship cards, Dominican resident cards, a checkbook,  laptop, a projector, a GPS, a camera, a video camera, books, DVD's, pictures, School curriculum, toys, a guitar, clothes, shoes, stuff for our church, etc. We still start looking for something and realize, "that was before the robbery". That afternoon the man who runs Baptist Missionary Transportation Ministry (which is where the van was from) came and picked us up to bring us back to Harrisonville (about 30 minutes from where we were). We went to church there that night, which was the original plan anyways. The next morning a lady from the church took my kids out shopping for a few clothes and undergarments and also took them to a fun place to eat pizza and play. They had a great time. Meanwhile back at the mission apartment, I was on the phone ALL day long, with the police, airlines, US passport agency, Canadian consulate, etc. I felt like the phone was glued to my ear! After all of those calls, we realized we would have to go to Dallas to get our passports replaced. The airlines were kind enough to change not only the date of our ticket but the departing airport to Dallas and only charged us the $30 fare difference per ticket (which he worked hard to get that low) and not the $150 change fee per ticket. Someone from my dad's church in Ada, OK came and picked us up on Tuesday and took us back to my parent's house. We spent the next couple of weeks there, getting our passports replaced and replacing any necessities we could. Finally on March 16th we flew home! We have spent the last two weeks here cleaning, unpacking and getting the house back in order.  We are almost back to normal except we are still waiting on Delayna's school work to be replaced. This week is a big holiday here so we have no mail flight until next Thursday. The kids will be doing school all summer but we hope to be able to start next year on time. 
Please continue to pray for us as we still have some things to take care of. We still have to replace our Canadian citizenship cards (mine and the girls) our Dominican resident cards and a few things that were stolen. I have to redo all of my tax information, I had already had it all totaled up and ready to go, but it was on my laptop that was stolen, so I have to start all over. Please pray for the kids, that they work extra hard to get their school work done.
Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement and love offerings to help us replace stuff. You have been a tremendous blessing through all of this. We have such awesome friends and family!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

November and December overview

I'm just going to give you a quick overview of what has happened in the last few months. The last time I wrote, Stu and the girls had gone to Canada to visit Stu's grandma. She did pass away on Thanksgiving, so they were thankful that they got to see her one last time.  She was a tough one to the very end. She was alert and trying to offer food to everyone.
We spent most of December in Oklahoma with my parents. We were trying to get caught up on medical and dental work. The kids got all of their shots, Jesse got tubes put in his ears, and Seth got all of his dental work done. When we get back to Oklahoma the end of this month I have to finish my dental work (root canal and crown) and Jesse has to have dental work done. Please pray for him on Feb. 1st. We had all the kids dental work done in the Dominican but all the fillings fell out so they both had to have it all redone. It was very traumatic for them there because the dentist didn't use gas or even numb them. We had to hold Jesse down as they worked on him. He screamed and fought the whole time. Because of that we need to put him to sleep and the insurance won't cover him being anesthetized in the hospital. So he will be given oral sedation in the office. Please pray that it works well and they can get the work done in as few visits as possible. Praise the Lord his dentist is giving us a 50% discount. That helps some.
We enjoyed Christmas with my family. That was the first time in many years that we were all together. It was both fun and chaotic. There were 18 of us at my parent's house. Most of us shared only one bathroom. 5 of them were kids 5 and under. My mom and dad both got sick on Christmas day. My mom didn't get to eat and they both threw up that night. Thankfully the rest of us stayed healthy.
We have spent the last few weeks in Charlotte, NC with Stu's parents. The kids have sure enjoyed spending time with the grandparents. We have been freezing here though. We are ready to get back to the tropics to thaw out. We are also ready to get back to a normal routine. We have about a month and a half before we head back.
We took a new family picture this month. I will post it here, but if you would like one, just let me know and send me your address. The only condition to me sending you one is that you pray for us. :)