Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Adjusting to Being Home

     We have now been back in Oregon for almost two weeks.  There have been a lot of adjustments since returning and acclimating ourselves back to life in the USA.  I found it quite humerous the first time we went grocery shopping.  Here's an example:  oranges are forty-nine cents a pound.  Is that a good deal?  Is it cheap, expensive, or what?  Okay, let's see...forty-nine cents is how much in pesos?  That's 4.08 pesos, but it is per pound.  We've been buying fruits and vegetables by the kilo for the last 15 months and a kilo is 2.2 pounds.  So, it's really like we're paying 8.976 per kilo.  We were paying about 9 pesos per kilo so, yes, it's a good deal.  Okay, now on to the next fruit or vegetable.  This could take all day. 
     We have so enjoyed reconnecting with friends and family.  Sunday we went to a small group at a friend's house.  We never joined a small group while we were here before but we are considering it now.  We had such a great time.  There is even one women there that is fluent in Spanish so when everyone was introducing themselves, she introduced herself and told a little about herself all in Spanish.  It was really neat.  For right now, we will continue to attend.
     We continue to look at all our options for housing for the long term.  Currently, we are living in our former house with Jim's mom.  She had moved in here while we were gone and we have her house rented out.  Please pray as we make choices in what to do.
     We continue to try to practice our Spanish but it is interesting that the Spanish speakers look at us little weird when we try to strike up a conversation in Spanish.  Perhaps they are not used to people taking an interest in their language who are not Hispanic.  We'll continue to keep working on it though.
     Last Wednesday night we went to our first Mission Leadership Team (MLT) meeting at our church.  We were on the MLT prior to moving to Mexico and we will continue to be a part of the team now that we have returned.  We care for our long term missionaries and after 14-1/2 months on the field, we have a new perspective in what that takes.  We so appreciate the care that the team took with us while we were out on the field.
     Erin went to church camp last Friday and returned today.  She said she had a wonderful time and was very jazzed when we picked her up.  It was a great time to reconnect with friend but it was a great spiritual time for her also.
     We thank you for your continued prayers as we continue to adjust to life here.  When we know more about work for Jim, we will update you.  For now, we continue to look for God's direction in everything.

Monday, August 09, 2010

First Few Days in Oregon

On Friday we went over to our friends, the Chamber's house.  We had Papa Murphy's pizza, which is one of our favorites, we have not been able to have it for such a long time.!  The kids were able to go swimming which was very fun for them.
Me and my friend, Lynn
Last night we went to church at our home church, East Hill.  We had a wonderful time reconnecting with people and worshipping with our church family. 
This was amazing!  It was a rainbow that began and ended where you see it here.  The picture doesn't do it justice as to how brillant the colors were.  It was pretty amazing.  The interesting thing is that we saw another on like this tonight in a totally different place.  God is very creative.
This morning we went to Taylor and Kristen's church because Diligence was being dedicated.  Here is Jim and Dylan.
Me and baby Diligence
Jonathan with Dylan and Terrel
In the afternoon, we went back to Taylor and Kristen's house to visit.  They recently moved to a new house with 2-1/2 acres of land.  It's a great place for the kids to play.
Taylor and PJ
Kristen and Victory
Erin and Diligence
PJ all dressed up
Diligence, Dylan and PJ
Erin is spending the night tonight with Taylor and Kristen and she is going clothes shopping tomorrow.  She is just a little bit excited.  Jonathan went to youth group tonight and had a great time!  This was such a pleasure to see. 

Friday, August 06, 2010

Pictures from Yesterday

Our first view of Lake Shasta
Mount Shasta
Black Butte Mountain...looks like a huge dump truck just unloaded it's load right here.
We missed the Entering Oregon sign but this is right after we entered Oregon.
We got the entering Portland sign though...
and the entering Fairview sign.  We actually live in Fairview.
Erin with Rachel and Lyndsey.  These are the two friends that were waiting for her.
Our oldest daughter, Kristen, and our newest grandson, Diligence.
Jonathan and his friend, Keane.
Erin and Brooklyn, our grand daughter
Jim and Diligence.  I did hold him but there are no pictures of me with him.  He has just begun to smile and coo.  I think he did that just for us.
Kristen, me, Erin and Brooklyn.  There is no family resemblance there, is there?
Today, we are doing laundry, unpacking suitcases and pretty much just hanging around.

We've Arrived!

We had another great day of travel and it was wonderful as we crossed over the Oregon state line.  The kids were very excited as we got closer and closer.  The question doesn't change as they get older..."How much longer till we get there?"  The difference today was that it wasn't a complaint, it was an excitement that we were getting closer each time they asked. 

We arrived at our house in Fairview around 3:30 today with two of Erin's friends waiting at the end of the street to see her.  She was so excited she almost jumped out of the car before it came to a complete stop.  She had been talking to her friends along the way to let them know that she was getting closer.  Her friends  had been planning for a week to be here when she arrived.  Jonathan also had his friend come over to see him.  They all had fun reconnecting with each other.

Jim's mom planned a dinner of homemade beef vegetable soup and sandwiches on homemade rolls for dinner.  Our daughter, Kristen, and her family came over.  It was so good to see them and to hold our precious grandchildren again.  We met our grandson, Diligence, for the first time.  How precious he is.  A little later Jim's brother, Luke, and his family came over to see us too.  What a great evening it was.  We look forward to catching up with more people as we get settled in.  I did take pictures of everything but until we get our own computers hooked up, it's a little harder to get them on.  So, I hope you get pictures on from today soon so that you can share in our adventure through pictures also. 

Thank you all for praying for us.  We still don't know what the future holds but we know that God knows and as long as we are keeping close to him, he will lead us in the direction that he would want us to go.  We will keep you updated as we go. 

Thursday, August 05, 2010

On the Last Leg of Our Trip

We spent another morning in San Jose having a last visit with the Howell family.  There are not enough words to express our thanks to them for the restful days we spent at their house and all of their support.  But now, we are ready to head home.  We left San Jose around 3:45 this afternoon and had wonderful trip to Redding.  We are now staying in our last hotel for this trip.  Tomorrow, we will be in Portland. 

Here are a few pictures from our trip today.
We passed the graveyard of WWII ships on the Sacramento River in Vallejo.
We made our traditional stop at the Olive Pit and tasted the different types of Olives. 
I-5 will lead us all the way to Portland!!!
See you tomorrow or soon thereafter!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Another Good Day

We had another good day today visiting with the Howells.  This afternoon, Stacey's boys were playing in the hose.  Gavin just liked the hose and DJ was trying to make a waterfall by pouring water from a bucket down the retaining wall.  Very creative.
Here is Gavin checking out the hose and filling the dog's water bowl.
DJ pouring the water to make his waterfall.
Tonight Adrian and Gloria treated us to dinner at Black Angus.  Adrian had heard that I hadn't had a steak since moving to Mexico and wanted to take us out so that we could get steak.  Oh, it was so good!  Thank you so much Adrian and Gloria.  What a wonderful treat that was.
Our plan at this time is to leave tomorrow afternoon and go to Redding, California and spend the night.  Then we will travel the rest of the way to Oregon on Thursday.  We are getting very excited to see everyone but we are so grateful for the restful time we have had here in San Jose before finishing our trip.

Day Three in San Jose

These are pictures from yesterday while the kids were swimming in the pool.
Here is one of the pigs. They say they're real friendly.  I just took a picture, I didn't try to make friends.
Jim and Adrian
Erin getting the chickens back in the chicken coop...
and feeding a peanut to the parrot...
and feeding the horses.
Jim with Pepper, the dog.
I liked this sign and with as many horses as Adrian has, he takes it seriously.
Erin with one of the baby bunnies.
And these are pictures from today, so far.
Adrian taught LA how to cross his legs...
and he is teaching him to rear up, which is standing up on his back legs on command.
Erin riding Apache.