Saturday, August 28, 2010

Congratulations Jenny and Michael

We are happy to announce the engagement of our daughter Jennifer to Michael Hunt. The Lord brought their paths together when Jenny felt led to attend Fairhaven Baptist College in Chesterton, Indiana. I will never forget the day when she came to us, just a few months after arriving in the Canary Islands, saying the Lord was pressing her to go there. She had originally planned to stay with us here in Tenerife and work with us in the ministry, but the Lord had other plans.

We are very pleased with Michael, he is a hard working young man with a very strong dedication to the Lord. He feels called to the ministry, especially missions, and I know together he and Jenny will make a good couple. They both share their desire to serve the Lord with their life. Lord willing, we are looking at a July 2011 wedding. We wish them all the best.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Missing the Most Precious Moments

After a long day of home school, cooking, cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc. I look forward to the evening when I can sit down, read my email, and just do what "I" want to do. My husband often plays a game with the girls, and I am upstairs on the computer. I have it on my lap, since our desktop bit the dust months ago. My kids know that when I am reading or looking at things on the internet, they could probably ask me just about anything and I would say yes as my focus is on what I am reading.

Last night as I was surfing the net, as they say, Leanna came up to my room and said she wanted to lay down on my lap. Leanna is a very affectionate 8 year old. She often kisses me goodnight 10-15 times, hugging me, tucking me in as if I were her child, then only to return again to do it over and over. At first I was a little perturbed....."mommy is using the computer right now".........but she persisted. I tried scooting the computer over to one side so she could "share my lap" with it. Didn't work to well. She seemed disappointed. Then my heart was convicted.

I began having this conversation to myself: "Carolee, the day will come when this child will no longer desire to sit in your lap. If you keep refusing her, she will no longer ask, because she knows that mommy doesn't want to be bothered. She will find other things to do."

I took the computer on put it on the table. I took Leanna and put her across my lap. I realized that I was holding the real treasure--and how quickly I forget to take time just to appreciate what the Lord has given me. She looked up at me with the most beautiful, toothless smile. Nothing could be better than that!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Special Summer Days, 2010

"Driving" Me Crazy

Doug thought it would be a good idea to sign me up for driving school this summer. Jenny and Hannah were home, so they could babysit the younger girls while I was at school taking classes. Spain does not accept driving licenses from the United States, so you have to take a written exam, then pass a road test.

I have been driving since I was 16. My sophomore year in high school I took driver's ed for one sememster, then as soon as I had my 16th birthday I went to the bureau of motor vehicles and took my test. It was a piece of cake. Later on in life I even went on to get my commercial driver's license, which included taking a road test in a school bus and doing several types of obstacle coarses and parking between cones. Nothing I had ever done though compares to the tediousness of studying for Spanish driving school.

I have done nearly 60 computerized tests in Spanish, over and over again. They cover all aspects of driving, including road signs, signals, speeds, priority, etc. They also teach about car maintenance, safety, dangers of alcohol, emergency first aid, and defensive driving. I even have to learn about rules for motorcycles, mopeds, trucks, and bicycles. It is a very comprehensive course.

So, I study, study, study.......memorizing and going over everything. I have spent literally hours cramming facts and figures into my brain. I am still in the process of trying to get my Spanish license. So far this has consumed most of my summer. I am anxious to get this all behind me, and another part of me just wants to give up and say forget it! I really am not looking forward to driving a stick shift on all these mountain roads--it kind of scares me to be honest.

Then I think of my dear Grandma, who if I am not mistaken, waited until she was at least 50 years old to get her driver's license for the very first time. Her example motivates me to keep on trying, and not to quit!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why I Have a Facebook Account

People have very strong ideas and opinions about the social networking site Facebook. I opened an account a few years ago because my daughter in law invited me to see some pictures of our grandkids that she had posted on her profile page. That was the only reason I was remotely interested. I hadn't even heard of it until then.

In our own church, people are either really against Facebook, or like to use it as a tool to communicate. I personally like it for the latter reason. I do not post updates every 15 minutes on my status, like "just had a tuna sandwich for lunch," and try to refrain from complaints like "my kids are driving me crazy today." Some people air their dirty laundry on facebook, or give way too much private information--divulging emotions and things they might regret later.

I try to use the status updates sparingly, or to only use it when I think something may be of interest or an encouragement to my "friends" on facebook. In reality, most of them are not my dearest and truest friends, but aquaintances from the past. I also use it as a manner to express my faith, and prayer requests. It is also an easy way to share photographs of our family and ministry.

As missionaries, I know what it is like to feel forgotten by family, friends, and church friends. People don't do it on purpose, but we are just so just so busy and don't take the time to write or call. At least with Facebook I can feel somewhat connected to what is going on back home. That is the main reason I like it--as a communication tool.

Facebook, like anything else on the internet, has to be used with wisdom and discretion. If a "friend" is using obscene language or posting pictures that I find distasteful, I remove them from my contacts. I do not spend my time joining causes, playing games, or adding applications, or chatting online. I try to stick to the basics and spend just a few minutes on it, just as I would if I was reading my email.

If for some reason you don't have Facebook, and are against it, I support you fully with your decision, just as some people choose not to have the internet. My husband, for example, rarely gets on the computer except to do some online banking or email correspondence, and I am thankful for his carefulness in avoiding temptation. I am glad to have a husband who isn't glued to a computer moniter all day.

There may come a day when I will change my mind, and find Facebook offensive and delete my account. Like everything else the world promotes, it tends to get worse and worse as time goes on. For now, I feel I can use it responsibly and glorify God with the purposes I use it for.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Family Photo

The older girls leave Thursday to go back to the states, and I thought we'd better try to get a family picture before they leave. Our friend Maria Jose was at our house today, and we had to get dressed up to go to church, so I took advantage of the opportunity for a short photo session. Here are the results!