Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Pictures

Here are some pictures I took on Thanksgiving Day. I love the way my kitchen turned out, it is so cozy!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Attitude of Gratitude

This morning as I went into the kitchen and looked at the stack of dishes piled in the sink, I was tempted to think--I just did a sink load of dishes before we went to bed--what happened? But, today being Thanksgiving--and my thoughts focused on giving thanks (which for the Christian, should be our daily attitude, not just on special days the world sets aside for such a thing), I was reminded to be thankful even for the full sink of dishes. After all, a sink full of dishes represents a family that has plenty of food to eat.

I began to ponder all the other unpleasant tasks I face each day, and how I view them. Being thankful for cleaning the bathrooms--and that we have a home with indoor plumbing and hot water. And for all the dirty clothes in the hamper--we have clothes to wear, to keep us warm, and I am blessed to have a washing machine and dryer, not to mention a nice house to live in, and a car for transportation--much more than most in the world can boast.

Looking back, I am thankful for every dirty diaper I ever changed, all the toys scattered around the house, and fingerprints on the walls. Now I am reaping the benefits of all the time invested in motherhood. Could you imagine a home without the giggles and laughter of little ones--even though at times our patience is tried.

I am thankful for a husband who practices what he preaches. Even though it isn't always easy to be married-- it is a blessing to have a husband who is my best friend, and I know he truly loves me for who I am.

I am thankful for having children and grandchildren scattered around the globe, even though I would love to be with them today. It gives me great satisfaction knowing that the Lord is answering my prayers, that all of our children would be serving Him.

Most of all, I am thankful for a loving God and Saviour, who gave His life so that I could be forgiven of my sin, and be given a new life in Christ. With God in our life, we have everything!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Hard to believe that this is our second Thanksgiving in the Canary Islands, and we are thankful for all the Lord has done in our lives, and the blessing of being able to serve him here in Tenerife.

Today was a busy day--Doug traveled with a fellow missionary, Rudy Thomas (he is from Germany), and another church member, to the island of La Palma. Doug called me this afternoon and told me it was a fruitful day so far. Rudy was able to counsel with a woman who attends a church over there, and she accepted the Lord as her Saviour.

I took advantage of the "free" day to finish hanging the wallpaper and border in my kitchen. I ordered the border from the states, and found a plain pattern here in Santa Cruz to match for the bottom of the wall. I absolutely love it! My kitchen looks so much brighter and cheerful. It was really easy to put up, for which I am thankful--as I get older these projects aren't as easy as they used to be. I am sure I will need some ibuprofen tonight when I go to bed!

After finishing the wallpaper, I had to make the homemade pumpkin pie that I promised Rebekah. I say home made--but actually that is the only kind you could get here anyway since there is no such thing as pumpkin pie here! We cooked the pumpkin (shhh-- don't tell Rebekah but I also used some sweet potatoes). I have never seen a whole pumpkin here, but I imagine if I looked in the farmer's markets I could probably find one. They sell pumpkin in the grocery stores in sections--the Canary people buy it to cut up and put in their famous "Puchero Canario" (stew) and it has green skin, not orange .

True to tradition, they already cut into the pie--even though it was still warm! I tried to tell them it will taste better the next day, but no one ever wants to wait. That is why I always make two! Doug said it was one of the best I have made in a long time (well, it has been a long time--this is the first pumpkin pie I ever made since we have been in the CIs).

To all of our friends and family, we wish you a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Talk Show Host Calls Homeschooled Kids "Demented"

Yesterday I read a home school blog and watched a video clip as talk show hosts sat around a table on the TV program "The View" (which I don't watch and do not endorse-- I am in the Canary Islands and don't have American TV--I just happened to read about this) discussing where the Obama children should attend school. Someone brought up the idea of them being educated in the White House, and Joy Behar quipped something to the effect--not home schooling--a lot of those kids are demented. Another lady, the more conservative of the bunch--came to the defense of home schooling. Behar also said home schoolers were "scared" of other children.

Does that mean all the kids in the public and private schools are "normal"? Just read the news-- they have their share of problems. Home schoolers aren't perfect either, but I think demented is definitely uncalled for. It just reinforces the sterotype that many have about anything that is "different" than the norm.

I don't know where she has been lately, but I would encourage her to be a little more open minded ( the same way the liberals are always encouraging us to be) and put aside some of her prejudices. Her comment was clearly inflammatory and derogatory. I hope she reconsiders her comment and gets to know a few home schooled children personally. Maybe she would change that to delightful!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Leanna Gets a Dog

My husband could hardly believe it when a few months back we adopted a dog for Rebekah--she had always wanted one, and she found one on the Internet at the local pet shelter that we all liked. Petunia's personality is much like Rebekah's, relatively calm, obedient, and affectionate. They say it is really uncanny how a dog can be like their owner.

A woman in our church is moving to another island, and couldn't take her pet. I agreed to take it home one night for a trial, mostly to see how it got along with Petunia. He immediately took a liking to Leanna. Doug was shocked when I agreed to keep him. But how can you refuse two little girls with such hopeful looks on their faces?

We named him Blackie, and it is amazing how much he is like Leanna. Blackie is a little more playful, not quite as calm as Petunia, and a little scruffier. Leanna finally has someone to boss around--being the baby of the family she needed someone to do what she says for a change!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Welcome to the World Jeremiah!

Last night we received a call on our cell phone all the way from South Africa telling us that we were grandparents once again! They couldn't have asked for a better delivery, from what they said everything went beautifully, until five minutes after he was born, the electricity went out! What perfect timing! We are thankful that mother and baby are doing well. Congratulations Nathan and Emily.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Signs of the Times

Photo courtesy of Fox News.

If you saw my post a few weeks back I commented on how the British Humanist society were promoting a godless society by advertising on London buses. Now the American Humanist Society has brought the same message to buses in Washington, DC.

I find it interesting that they chose Washington, D. C. in light of the last election promoting "change." I wonder how much change for the better will occur? God's people need to get down to business, praying for our country, and getting back to the only thing that will bring about a real change--a "changed" heart by the regeneration brought about through faith in Jesus Christ.

It is impossible to live a good life without God, and His word. How do you define what is good and evil without God's holy standard? Every man will do what is right in his own sight. We have already seen the effects of a society without God--just read the headlines of the newspaper or listen to the evening news.

Their question is "why believe in a god?" I don't have enough space on this page or time to give my response but can say truly, I wouldn't want to live in a world without Him!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November News

Singing and praying prior to baptism. Tenni, the one being baptized, is the woman in the red shirt. That is her four month old baby being held by Diego, who I wrote about in a prior post--he recently got baptized as well. We did it in the evening, not realizing it got dark so early.

November has been an interesting month so far. We kicked off the month celebrating Leanna's 6th birthday (her real b-date is Oct. 31) and this was her second one here in the Canary Islands. We had a few of our missionary friends over to help share in the fun.

Doug had the privilege to baptize a young lady named Tenni. She recently asked the Lord to be her Saviour and wanted to be obedient to the Lord in baptism. Once again we went down to the Atlantic Ocean for this wonderful event. She has been coming to church and Doug is studying with her, and she has brought some of her family members as well. Tomorrow we are supposed to be having another baptism, praise the Lord!

The ministry is at times joyful, but can be full of trials, and emotionally draining as well. Doug has been discipling a young man who recently has been going through some really tough times emotionally, and mentally. Without going into great detail, at one point Doug was called to help this man as in desperation he tried to take his own life. He is a Christian believer as far as we can tell, but has grown up in a very dysfunctional family. Doug took him to the hospital, and has been spending a lot of time with him, counseling and trying to give him hope through the living Word of God. He seems to be doing better, but please keep this man in prayer.

We are eagerly awaiting news from Nathan and Emily as they have traveled to South Africa for the arrival of Jeremiah George Schwaderer. They are staying in a missionary guest house, and a doctor and midwife will deliver the baby there. Supposedly it is safer than going to a hospital. Should the need arise, they are only 5 minutes away from one. Emily's mother and brother are visiting for a few months, which will be a great help and encouragement. We are praying for a timely and safe arrival.

School is going really well--if any of you read my post on Leanna's first day of school--I am happy to report that she is learning to read, and my earlier fears that she wasn't paying attention seem to be put to rest. Sometimes it amazes me as I listen to her "play" school and she is imitating her teachers and retelling her Bible story, or explaining how to count by 5's. It is an opportunity that I am grateful for, to spend so much time giving her my full attention, which I would not be doing otherwise.

Rebekah is a little lady, growing in grace each day. She is such a blessing, comfort, and companion to me here on the field. Jenny and Hannah are doing well at college--before you know it they will have finished the semester. They plan to visit a friend's house in Michigan during Thanksgiving, and spend the Christmas holidays in Ohio with relatives.

Thanks so much for your prayers!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Joys of Doing Business

The other day I decided to order some wallpaper border for my kitchen online, mostly because here in the Islands there is very little selection to choose from, so I got on the internet and found some I liked, and ordered a roll.

I received an email today that my desired border was on back order, and wouldn't be available for at least 4 weeks. Meanwhile, I went online again and found another company that sold the same kind much cheaper--so I ordered it from them, and cancelled the first one.

When I called to cancel it, I asked them if the order had been charged to my credit card yet since it was on back order. Yes, it had been, the same day I ordered it (of course). I asked them how long it would take for me to see the credit on my statement, and was shocked when she said "two billing cycles""--in other words, two whole months!!

Why is it that they can charge you immediately for an item they can't even ship because they don't have it in stock, yet wait so long to return your money--for something you never received? Doesn't seem right to me!