Showing posts from August, 2011

I Saw Myself

Last week when we were at the immigration office in Jakarta there were seas of people.  The conditions were tight and hot.  And then I saw her.  A tall Caucasian lady with a young boy.  Her hair was pulled back in a cute pony tail.  She appeared confident. The lady had an Indonesian friend who was helping her.  I couldn't take my eyes off of her.  She stood out in such contrast.  Then I saw myself and I now know how the people see me and all my family.  We must be such a curious intriguing sight!  Can't wait until they know me and I know them and we can all see each other for who we are.....


I can't thank all my dear friends and family who have taken the time to read and write.  My friend, Michelle, who lives in South Africa told me that Face Book and email would be a life line for true! Therapy!  To hear from you all is such a sweet savor in my day. To write this blog is therapy for me.  Not sure if I will be able to post so much once language school starts, next Monday.  We already have our books and it looks quite intense.  Especially for us almost 40 year old's.  The director of the school told us the children will be able to lay their heads on the desk and sleep and when they wake up and it is time to leave they will be able to speak Indonesian.  : )  Meanwhile you know that Darron and I will be cramming and reviewing and blundering......  Oh to have the absorbing mind of a child.  Please pray that God will help us. Currently we are waiting and waiting for this week long holiday to end.  Normally, we love holidays.  However, it means that we can

So What Do You Eat?

I was asked to write about what we eat. : )  As a mother of four growing boys (by the way, Aubrey has officially passed me at 5'6'') food is a big part of my "work" day.  In America I thought I cooked everything from scratch, but perhaps we should define "scratch" clearer????! ha  Right now we are more limited than we will be in about 6 months because I don't have an oven.  However, if you have been to Osh Kosh Camporee and camped with thousands of pre teens and can survive here! : 0  I knew that experience was shaping me for something.  Along with my student missionary experience, where Dawn taught me to cook with the bare basics in a true third world remote jungle setting.  Also, my mother who taught me how to create food from whatever you have on hand!  Mother you are an inspiration!!!!! : ) I am sure that there are many more things we could eat, but shopping takes great effort and concentration.  Trying to decipher labels and figu

Four Boys (Empat Laki Laki)

Bringing four boys overseas from ages 13 to 6 was perhaps risky, foolish, crazy, adventurous, and/or wise.  Who knows how this will change, mold/shape, and challenge their lives?  People have outright told us we were foolish  and others have blessed us with "that is the best thing you could do".  However, whatever the outcome, we are committed to loving and guiding these boys to the best of our ability and believe that God will lead them ultimately through all of this experience. Currently they are all doing remarkably well.  I continue to admire their courage and adaptability.  Aubrey remains our techno man.  He has spent hours drawing up plans for the house that will be built in Papua.  Aubrey is the one that has been the most collected emotionally through the whole process.  Andrew is most adventurous when it comes to helping me create new or familiar dishes in the kitchen.  To him this is a great release and comfort.  His humor has helped us greatly.  We have had a

Who Needs a Kitchen Sink When You Have a Bathtub

There are so many unusual ways here in Indonesia.  I want to spend a few moments trying to capture a few of them for you.   Vehicles and roadways.  We are fascinated that here in Bandung there are some traffic lights that have digital  clocks beside the lights counting down when it will turn green and red.  60 seconds for both.  Ideal for the Type A personality.  Beats having to look at the other set of lights to see what they are doing.....of which I am frequently guilty.  At the gas pull in and tells the attendant (usually a woman) how much money they want and she will proceed to pump the gas, engine running.  You never have to get out of your vehicle.  Most people travel on the angkots a smaller version of a mini van with all the seats taken out, replaced with long benches.  So far 22 people has been the record we have counted while on one.  That is with an 8 and 6 year old on our laps along with our groceries.  For the six of us to travel into the heart of Bandung

Next Step

Monday the boys and I house hunted.  The villa's above the university where the Gallant's live proved to be beautiful.  The scenery was refreshing and the atmosphere wholesome and inspiring compared to the city.  The homes were quite pricey, even for American standards.  So no final decisions were made.  Other than I needed Darron to come and see it all with me: from the city to the villa's.  This decision would truly take a family togetherness and heavenly wisdom.  The advantage to living in the city is that we would be able to language learn with hundreds if not thousands of people.  Living in the villa's the children would be free to play outside and all of us could take a deep breath; however, five days a week we would have to travel many hours on public transportation. Monday afternoon, the boys and I road on a rented van back to Jakarta.  All of us thought Darron was the best sight we had seen in a while.  All of us chatted away with so much to share: he from Pa

Furnished House

I awoke in great spirits.  Nathaniel's fever was gone, along with stomach issues.  This was the day to go see our potential "new furnished home" for the next 3-4 months.  Darron and I had decided that we would choose to live in the heart of the city for this short period of time to maximize our language learning experience.  I was optimistic as this house was "new". Language School After 45 minutes of travel and many hand braking moments as we skim past motorcycle after motorcycle, many loaded with families of 3 or 4.  We arrived at the language school.  "John" was to meet us at 1 p.m.  He finally scooted in on his motorcycle at 1:45 saying he was waiting for me to text him.  Hmmm?!  We then began our 10 minute walk to our "new home".  It was a very narrow street with many motorcycles passing by.  Dozens of little snack shops filled the side of the streets.  Selling everything from juice to time cards for your cell phones.  We followed

Saying Good Bye

There are so many pictures of friends and family that I did not get.  Yet, so many wonderful ones and I just felt inspired to share a few, because this was a very important step in our journey.  So many more I could include just didn't want to take up too much room on the web! ha Love this and all Becky! Battlefield are the greatest! Our great friends Dan and Ida, with us from the beginning! What a great cake with Indonesian commission and English too. Grandma Cheryl did fruit carvings in our honor.  The swans were Darron and I, the pears the boys. Grecia, I really appreciated the words you spoke.  I count it all joy the time we spent together. Well most of it!!!!! : ) To the sweetest couple I know.  Praying for you both. This picture needs no caption! : )  I love the delight.... Lots of memories with these two girls. One word for Larry "Faithful" both he and Linda.

Friends and Fever

Pastor Bryan Gallant rescued us from Jakarta on Thursday afternoon.  It is approximately a 3 hour drive to Bandung.  As we approached closer to Bandung the terrain was mountainous, with vivid flowers and rice terraces.  Beautiful.   Once arriving to the Gallants home we were greeting by Penny, and their 4 children.  It wasn't long before the children were off exploring rooms, toys, outside and enjoying each other's company.  Penny had a feast ready for us.  Already we feel so endeared to this family. Friday morning and Nathaniel is struggling with a fever.  The Tylenol is now working and he is asleep.  I am so grateful that we are with the Gallants as they gladly took my 3 oldest children to town with them and left me to tend to Nathaniel.  It ministered to my mommy heart to be able to read him books and chitter chat with him, without having to worry about the other three.  So God has provided once again.  If we need to go to the hospital we are close, but for now my patien

Jakarta Impressions

All kinds of interesting carts. Step on a crack and break your mother's back.  Fall in a hole and............ You know.....when you are tired, just pull over and take a nap. The sidewalk and sewer.  Walking to find the hairdressers on a nicer stretch of sidewalk.  Construction.  No hard hats.  No OSHA.  No preformed molds of steel, they hammer it all into shape. We will have to work on our Indonesian table manners!  Nathaniel enjoyed the noodles.

I Kissed my Scissors Good bye

For the past 17 years I have been cutting my "men's" hair.  There have been many grave errors like snipped ears.  Darron loves to yell every now and then when I cut around his ears as a GREAT practical joke to make me think I have snipped his skin.  He knows the results.  I will grab my stomach in horror and scream and then apologize profusely.  Then he can't contain himself any longer and will start laughing! Ughh.....  Can you imagine all the money we have saved over the years of 5 heads of hair each month? So on day #2 of Grass Widowhood I decided to strike out and find a barber.  Andrew kept getting comments about being Justin Beaver.....because his hair was getting quite long.  Mom was determined.  We had a vague idea of where to walk too.  But our first attempt resulted in no barber.  I told the boys we were going to try one more street.  The boys were griping and complaining.  It was hot.  People stare and laugh at us.  The streets are dirty.  The smells

Tricks In a Bag

So trying to keep four boys occupied in a cement compound in a large city where one does not know the language or how to navigate the public transportation proved to challenge my mothering skills.  Bottom line, we survived our first day alone! Nothing like family worship and a familiar breakfast of wheat a bix......even if it did cost almost $6 for a box.  Andrew said, "It is the first time I have felt full since getting here!!!!"  Poor kid.  Then we exercised by walking around and around the (almost).  Then it was laundry time once again!  I am laughing at the thought that my boys will have a whole new appreciation for laundry being done for them and the washing machine.  Doing laundry for 6 by hand took the 5 of us over an hour to wash, rinse and wring! : ) Then to Pizza Hut.  We thought we had ordered 2 large pizza's; however, only one medium showed up on our table.  So we were able to let them know that we needed one more large pizza and stayed an

Grass Widow

Monday was business day.  Passports to immigration office.  Open local bank account.  All of these "simple" tasks would be so difficult without the help of kind people.  We ate lunch at the little restaurant here on the compound.  A man inquired why we were here in Indonesia.  In turn he shared that he managed one of the gold mines.  What was most impressive was that he and his wife have an orphanage of over 60 children.  When Darron asked if they could be adopted, he declared, "No, they are all mine and will live with us like a family until after they have gone to college and choose to leave".  They have been doing this over 20 years.  So there we were, enjoying our mango smoothies and trying to encourage the children to eat the rest of their food (which they were not enjoying - ha).  When it came time to leave, we discovered the man had paid for our meal.  It made us ask ourselves, "Would we ever pay for a foreigners meal in America.....just because...?"