Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 30: Highland Games Night Run

This is me...earlier this evening...getting ready to do a 5k run in the dark.
It had been a long day, kids are just getting over being sick and are still really grouchy...
I was not in a good mood, and not really feeling very thankful... 
I started running and it felt awesome. It was about 1/2 road, 1/2 trail run, and the trail was super dark. It's a good thing I had my headlamp! I ran hard...really hard because there was about 3 guys close to me and I couldn't see anyone behind me and we were in the middle of a forest...I didn't want to run solo out there.
I was running hard, trying to keep up, but while I ran, I literally was gasping for air and simultaneously thinking how thankful I was to be doing this. Between us, Brooke and I have had about 15 leg surgeries. Brooke ran a 10-K last week and I was in the middle of a night run 5-K ..I had a pitch-black-in-the-forest-thankful-run.
I sprinted through the finish...and the head of our local runners group called to me..."you got 11th!"  Missed the top ten (and the prizes) by 1 place! Oh was still awesome. 
And, I saw some of Brooke's Muay Thai friends there too!  They did a great job! 
To round out the night, they had the local fire-dancing team on hand-- pretty cool actually.
We are thankful that in the midst of a very stressful life...we have time to run, to run with friends, and to make new friends while we run. Oh....and we're thankful that our broken-down legs are holding up.

As we finish out our month of thankfulness....I realize....this month of blogging has been a very good reminder of all the things we have to be thankful for...and to have to think of something to be thankful for...even when we weren't feeling particularly thankful.
When we take the time to think about's amazing how blessed we truly are, in so many different ways.  Thanks, God!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 29: Sidewalk Chalk

  1. Seriously, whoever invented sidewalks, and whoever invented chalk, and whoever decided they would go well together deserves some sort of medal from Parents magazine or a British knighthood or something.
When the day is nice, our four little Picassos get the chalk art going. This was our best one yet, or as Asia said, "The biggest painting in Johnson family history!"
And what better way to say, "I love you" than with a nice chalk heart. 
Hey, how many things can cause this kind of concentration and attention to detail in a 4-year old? Probably Legos, annoying older (and younger) sisters, and...Sidewalk Chalk!  'Aint it great?!?
Today, we are thankful. We are thankful for sidewalk chalk. And we are also thankful that we have a sidewalk. Without that, none of this would have been possible.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 28: Biscuits & Gravy

Whenever you get a craving to eat something American over here...and it's not available, you can do two things.

1. Talk and think and reminisce about the longed-for beverage or dish...

2. Or,  you can figure out how to make it here.

When we wanted to have good Southern biscuits and gravy in the US, normally, the way we procured it was:
Step 1. Go to restaurant.
Step 2. Order and eat it.
Step 3. Pay and leave.  (Brooke loves to cook, but hey, we have four kids and not a lot of free time.)

Here, a few weeks ago we got the hankering for some down-home biscuits and gravy.

So...Step 1. Peruse the internet to find recipe. for: biscuits, gravy, and...oh yeah, sausage. No Jimmy Dean-ish sausage available.

Step 2. Go to market the week before by 6 AM to get the fresh ground meat. How do you know it's fresh? Easy. It's still warm.

Step 3. Make sausage ahead of time and freeze.

Step 4. When we finally get up the gumption, make homemade biscuits. No Pillsbury Doughboy around here.

Step 5. Thaw sausage, make gravy.

Skye girl's first biscuits 'n two years old.
She loved them. So did we. We'll make more. Next year.
Step 6. Put it all together, and ENJOY!!! Wow, I don't think Jimmy Dean has anything on my wife's sausage. That was some GOOD GRAVY!

Why are we thankful for this?!?

Well, frankly, we both currently weigh less that when we got married, and the fact that it is really tough to procure some of our favorite fatty foods probably has a lot to do with it. When you have to logistically plan out the ingredients and other necessities for making something a week in advance, you tend to eat it a lot less.

Thank you God for unavailable non-necessities! Our life is probably better without them, or maybe only having them once every two years.

And, our second Thank you....those biscuits and gravy were amazing. Thank you God that we can have Jimmy Dean-ish deliciousness at least once in a while!! We definitely appreciated them more than we used to.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 27: Health

4 not-so-happy little sick kids watching Charlie Brown Christmas earlier today.
Sometimes, it's the things you don't like that remind you to be thankful for the things you had.
Like Health.
We have been amazingly healthy over this whole crazy year
(our whole three years in the Philippines really)
But it's super easy to forget to be thankful for it...until you suddenly have all four kids sick at the same time. Today, as we dole out the acetominophen, refill water cups as often as possible so the kids stay hydrated, and discover the occasional evidence that someone's last meal didn't want to stay in their stomach, we are reminded...
Be thankful for Health when it's there!! When it's not, you are quickly reminded how much it's worth.
Thank you God, for Health! And please let our kids get healthy soon!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 26: New Christmas 'Jammies!

One of the best parts about having kids this age is....
The kiddos just got 'jammies from grampy and grammy, and they were excited out of their minds to wear them.

So, we're thankful for the new 'jammies---and we're also really thankful to God for the perspective to life that having 4 little munchkins around brings us.
Take JOY in the small things!! Like pajamas with stars and penguins on them!! or seeing the moon! Or a pretty flower! Or dirt! (Skye told the moon good night tonight...and we've never even read her the book.)
Sometimes we all need a little bit more child-like wonder in our lives....and hanging with our fab four reminds Brooke and I to look at things like a kid again. It's so much more fun to experience life through their eyes then let our jaded 3+ decades of life experience get in the way of WONDER!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 25: Milo 10-K Triumph!

Today, I ran my very first 10K...part of the Milo Marathon series...
If you had asked me 6 months ago if I thought I could do it...the answer would have been unequivocally "NO"!  Actually, before I started this morning that would have been my answer too. haha
But I did it...I finished and I ran every step of the way.  I had fantastic running partners...Dra. Briones and Ninyo...a friend and our trainer from Muay Thai.

All smiles...getting ready this morning for 10 kilometers of running fun. (mostly fun)
After the race with some of my Muay Thai friends.

The doctora, our Muay Thai trainer, and me after our 10-K triumph! :) We ran every step of the way, even while the doctora was answering phone calls from the hospital!
By the way...we represent 3 decades...20s, 30s and 40s. 

And, where else would you celebrate your first ever 10-K?
So, today...I'm super thankful that I was able to finish the Milo 10k. 
Thank you, God...for allowing my body to hold up.
Pictures stolen from Ninyo.  :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 24: My Personal Wonder-Woman

So, Brooke is off with her Muay Thai friends doing a 10-K run this weekend...It's part of the Milo Marathon series, for those who know about that--

And, I am at home taking care of the Fantastic Four--they are asleep, the internet finally came back on, so I'm doing the Thankful post today all by myself.

And, I am thankful to God--for my wife. The mother to the Fantastic Four could be no less than a bona fide Wonder Woman. And, she is.

One of my super faves from our beach wedding...Hon, you looked 12 years old. Now that you've had 4 look 21. And more beautiful than ever.
Our marriage has been this: Together for 9 years, blessed with 4 kids, lived in 3 countries, studied 2 languages, and followed 1 God together, and He has kept us together through some pretty crazy times.

Brooke is kick-boxer strong, super-intelligent, awesome cook, great mom, and oh, did I mention....she's totally hot too.

Our life together is far from easy, full of stress, super busy, running after kids while working on the language program...and somehow with God's help she holds us all together.

Thank you God--- for this woman. (and thanks also to my in-laws--they apparently did a really good job) :) I am truly blessed

Love you hon.

Hope your race is great. The boys expect you to win a gold medal. They told me so.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 23: Mapleine

So, this morning, we used up the last of our maple flavoring.

That is something that we have never seen in stores here. (Maybe it exists...we just haven't found it yet.) But anyway, we ran out.

And, this afternoon, we got a text that a BIG box had just arrived for us! (That always gets the entire household very excited.)

We got it, opened it up, and...yup. Mapleine.

There was tons of other cool stuff in the box...everything from coffee to salted nut rolls to cheese, Christmas presents for the kids and lots more. 

But it was pretty special to run out of something that we all love....pancakes with maple syrup is the most highly requested meal in our house...and get it in a box from our loved ones at home that same day.

This Thanksgiving we really missed family, but something like that makes them feel a little closer.

Thanks to all the family members who contributed to our box!!

And Thank You, God...for working out the timing of that.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 22: Pagpasalamat!

Maayong Adlaw sa Pagpasalamat!  Happy Thanksgiving Day!
Squanto, Miles Standish, an unidentified Pilgrim woman and a little turkey! :)
Thanksgiving day is almost over here....but for our family in America, it's just beginning.

We just finished celebrating our fourth thanksgiving in a row here in the Philippines--And we miss our family in the US, but we are very thankful for the chance to celebrate with friends here. And to teach them a little about our culture.

Some old family friends, Brooke's Muay Thai friends, our helper, and Wendel rounded out our Thanksgiving table. Welch's sparkling grape juice added some festiveness!

Pumkin and Pecan Pie are real treats....cuz we get them about twice a year. This also could be why we have both lost a considerable amount of weight while living here...

Skye has gotten pretty used to Kuya Wendel (our language helper) being around every day. He's gotten really used to American food.

Finishing it off with pie and homemade whipped cream....Brooke is an awesome cook. (Brian is writing this. Promise.)

Brooke and her Muay Thai friends-- Doctora Briones and Ninyo. They and other Muay Thai friends are doing a 10-K this weekend, they just started carbo-loading a little early.

And, Dave and Cora---they are friends of Brooke's parents and have known Brooke since she was a little kid.
We still miss family, but we are so thankful for friends, food, and fun. Sadly, no football, but the Vikings have given us little to be thankful for this year...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 21: Digital Cameras

So...some of you might not be so thankful that we have a digital camera...since we post picture after picture of our phantasmagorical foursome on Facebook.
Oh look! And yet another picture!
But, we are super thankful. Back in the day...(not so long ago, in my memory) I took pictures of my travels with an antique Pentax SLR, and I had to lug along my film canisters and have a lead shield for all my stuff so the x-rays at the airport didn't negate the photo value of my latest journey.

I have way too few pictures of a lot of those trips because, well, the trip was expensive enough, I couldn't be blowing a wad on film too.

Now, we just snap snap snap whenever we feel like it and delete the deleterious photos, and still end up with 10x as many.

For a family with 4 little kids, it takes what would have been a whole roll of film to get one good picture of them all looking at the camera while nobody is simultaneously picking their nose. doesn't even make a dent in our SD card.

Digital camera...we love you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 20: Fall in the Tropics

Thankful for "cold" and stormy weather today that almost makes it feel like Fall here.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 19: The Internet!

I'm thankful for the internet.

When we were growing up as Missionary Kids overseas, we were seriously isolated. Not always a bad thing, but there is something to be said for Skype and online news.

As a kid, my family faithfully listened to VOA (The Voice of America) news broadcast on the radio almost every day. There was no television station where we lived, (heck, when we moved there electricity hadn't showed up yet) and radio was pretty much it.

 I can still remember some of the announcers names to this day...cuz they were so much a part of our lives. They were pretty much our window on the world. (wait, that was literally the name of one of their shows...Window on the World. I just remembered as I was typing this.)

Some of you old missionaries might remember That was VOA's way to help people stuff.

Wow. I was clueless come furlough time. Coming back to America was quite the shock to my 5th grade Missionary Kid mind. Kids even called adults by their first names! Horrifying!! :) 

And, one time we were visiting a family, their kid asked if I would like to play with transformers...I was like isn't that dangerous we might get electrocuted....the only transformer I knew was not a robot in disguise, it was a 220-110 voltage embarrassing.

And, parents and grandparents. When I was a kid, we talked to my grandparents maybe once every year or less, on a bad connection on a phone for a few minutes, and we paid through the NOSE for it! Trans-Pacific phone calls were not cheap.

Now...with Skype and MagicJack, we actually get to have regular video sessions with the fam.

There are drawbacks to technology, and we try not to let it take over our lives (that's why I'm blogging about it right now).

But, in a lot of ways, internet has made being a missionary a lot easier on our family---because we can really have daily communication with our loved ones back in the US.  

And for that, we are truly thankful.

(Oh, and my 4-year olds already have their first Transformer they won't be embarrassed like their father. Thanks Uncle Kevin for helping with the orientation process. Bumblebee and Optimus Prime are being well cared for.)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 18: Weekends

We're thankful for weekends.  How about you?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day 17: Wendel

Celebrating Wendel's birthday this evening. He had a whole roast pig for the party!
Today, we celebrated Wendel's birthday!

Three years ago, when we arrived in the Philippines, Wendel started helping us with Tagalog language study in Manila. Now, he's helping us learn Visayan, and he will also be helping the new missionaries. (yes, that means he is fluent in at least 3 languages!)

We thank God for Wendel, and the huge help he has been to us--he started working with us our first week in the country, and he is still helping us!  We think he's pretty great!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 16: Dates with the Kids

So, we just finished (and passed) our language evaluations....but we SO do not have time for a we have to go full bore on making sure the Visayan program is ready for new students in January.

But...we have made time for some dates. No, not mommy and daddy dates. Those, apparently, will happen in another decade or so.
Dates with the kids. This morning, I took both boys, and then both girls on dates.

We read books, looked at magazines, ate cookies, and looked at pretty plants and flowers.
We also LOVE one-on-one dates with the kids, but when time is short, taking them two at a time also works, and we all loved it!
Thank you God for dates with our kiddos! And, please, let us keep doing this until we allow them to date other people. (which should only be 25 or so years from now)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 15: Bear: Cobra-Killer

The truth is, we don't always appreciate our dog. He's not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer...

But, he is VERY protective, and he knows his job--which is guard dog, and chief licking officer.

Yesterday, he killed a cobra in our yard. The snake was right in the area where our kids always play--- and he took care of it. He's a dog. He slobbers, and he's annoying, but he is definitely a loyal K-9 who (probably without knowing it) is willing to risk his life to keep safe the short humans who play in his domain of protection.

Bear, your name is no longer Bear (or the other variations of your name that we have called you.)   You shall henceforth be known as...Cobra-Killer!

We are thankful for our dog!

 Good dog, Cobra-Killer!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 14: Getting Along

We are thankful for the times that the kids do get along. The other parents out there know what we are talking about...sometimes the times that they are playing well together seem few and far, we are thankful for when they do happen.

It's always more fun when we work together to climb the tree.

Sometimes they do care for each other. Earlier today, there was a "scary" bug flying around while the kids played outside. Skye started crying and ran to mommy. Leif quickly came over, put his hand comfortingly on Skye and said, "Baby, are you scared? It's ok. Big brother's here."

Thank you, God...for the little moments.

Love those crazy kids.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 13: Today

This is the day that the Lord has made.
We CHOOSE to rejoice and be glad in it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 12: Partners in Ministry

For what seems like a lot of years,we trained in the US to become missionaries.

Then, for the last three years---we have had the awesome opportunity to live in the Philippines, studying language, culture, and learning to minister to the people here.

And, for the second time in three years, we completed our language and culture requirements, and now we have a new job---helping new missionaries as they go through many of the same things we have experienced.

This whole time---many of you have prayed for us, supported us, and encouraged us. Some of you have given us advice, opened your homes to us, and others have kept in touch on Facebook, email, and (gasp) even snail mail. :)

As overseas missionaries, we are often reminded of how important our team of supporters, encouragers and prayer partners are. We hope that all of you that have partnered with us in some way realize that!

Today, we are looking forward to our new ministry here, which is helping new missionaries survive, thrive and learn languge and culture, and get them ready for tribal ministry.

To all of you around the world who are making this possible, we just want to say THANK YOU!

We truly thank God for all of you.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 11: Caffeine

As we pretend to stand here and look out at this sea of imaginary faces at our imaginary graduation ceremony for our invisible diplomas for reaching our SO NOT IMAGINARY required language levels in Visayan, we would like to say thank you.

Thank you to God, our parents, our supporters, our kids, our friends, our language helpers, and last but not least, Caffeine.

As we have strived to reach level in two languages in the last three years, you, Caffeine, have been our nearly constant companion. You took many different forms. Coffee (definitely the most common), sometimes coke, sometimes tea, sometimes chocolate, sometimes a Caffeine IV drip...
When we finally realized that getting up at 5:15 AM every day was not a stage our children were going was their norm....Caffeine, you were there.

When we once again were having a hard time understanding English, much less our third langauge....Caffeine, you were there.

As we tried to listen to more language recordings while simultaneously changing one diaper, comforting two unhappy children, and yelling at the other one who was trying to learn how to fly, Caffeine, as far as we can remember, you were there.

It has been a long and winding road, and sometimes the tunnels seemed long and dark, but the French Roast was even darker. And as we came out the other side into the sunny world of passing language grades bleary-eyed but unbroken....Caffeine, you were there...And the darkness is not forgotten....but the java will be remembered.

Caffeine...we admit...we used you.

But, Caffeine....We thank you.

On a side note...
We're going to lower our intake now...very slowly so we don't go through serious withdrawl symptoms....Don't feel hurt if we end up in a caffeine rehab's not you, it's us.  But know this, Caffeine...we will never forget you. You have been a huge part of this. You complete me(well, us)!

Thank God for caffeine!  Can we hear an AMEN!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 10: We Passed!!

Here we are earlier today...waiting for the results of our Evals... 
Check out those bags under our eyes!!!
 It has been a super LONG week/month/year!!!

Today after 3 years of straight language study (in two different languages)...WE PASSED OUR VISAYAN LANGUAGE EVAL!!

Does that mean we are done studying? Of course not! Language study is never "finished" but because we made our required levels, we can now focus on getting ready for the new missionaries that we will be helping.

We will continue to study part-time, so that, Lord-willing, our ability in the Visayan language can continue to grow.

Probably the best part of the day: When we told Asia we "passed our test" she gave us big hugs and said: "Good job mommy and daddy!" YES! Our 5-year old was proud of us. :)


Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 9: TGIF

Thank God it's Friday!!

That is all. We are going to bed now.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 8: America

The election is over and I am not even going to discuss politics....there have been enough Facebook posts on politics over the last three months to last a lifetime.

Regardless of what side of the aisle you live on...if you are an American, you should be (and I am) thankful that in the midst of one of the most divisive elections in history, Facebook was as crazy as it got for most people.

My wife and I are long-time expats...we've spent half or more of our lives overseas.

I lived for short while in a coutry where the same strongman had been in power for two decades, and he has now been in power for three decades.

I grew up in a country that once had 7 coup attempts in 2 years. I know there are Americans right now that are upset, but very few of them are planning to take down the government any time soon.

I am thankful today that even when I am not proud of what my country is doing, I am still proud to be an American.

Our passports don't come from a perfect country, but that does not stop us from teaching our two-year old the Pledge of Allegiance.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 7: Twins

I'm thankful for my twins. 
When I found out that I was pregnant with them...Asia was only 9 months old...and it became immediately obvious to me that I would not be able to "do this".  I did not and still do not have the strength, stamina and wisdom to care for and raise these crazy energetic boys of mine
EVERY SINGLE has to be God...  I'm thankful for my insane identical twin boys who FORCE ALLOW/REMIND me to rely on the Lord every day! 
Since their birthday was about 1 1/2 weeks ago...I thought I would include some pictures of them from their birthdays over the past 4 years.
At birth.

At 1. The Dr. Suess theme.

At 2. The Firefighter theme.

At 3. The Cars theme.

At 4. The Superhero theme.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 6: Laughter

Life is crazy. Thankfully, living in a foreign country and raising four little kids brings lots of laughter along with the insanity. Thank you God for laughter! We really need it.

Leif (4 year old brother to 2 year old sister):"Skye, downstairs, scary and monsters and giants. Have to watch out for them!"

 Misquotables:  "It's a small step made by man, but a big leap to humanity" Neil Armstrong 1969 (As seen on a local blog)
Looks: mommy. Mannerisms: ALL daddy.

The Grandma down the street calls me sexy...every time I (Brooke) walk past...and I imagine my Grandma saying that and it just doesn't compute.

Leif: "Where does Samson live?" Skye: "America!"

Asia:  Mom, What's a tan?  (Understandable in a country where in a lot of locations you could get a great tan if you wanted, but most people buy whitening products and use an umbrella to ward off the sun's darkening rays. And besides, in the place where we live, it's about as sunny as the Oregon coastline. As in, It rains. All. The. Time.)

Older lady at a funeral:  Are you single? Because these 2 pastors are...

Slater (after eating spicy food): What's this?  (sticking out his tongue and pointing to it)
Me:  ummm....your tongue
Slater:  it's REALLY hot!!!
Welcome to the world of spicy food, son.

Is there a draft in the arena?
This afternoon, all of a sudden, Slater ran out of his room freaking out and ripping his shirt off,...He threw the shirt on the floor and ran to mommy, screaming his little head off...something about a bug. Brian checked the shirt, and out wriggled a butiki, a little lizard about four inches long. Hey kid, we probably would have screamed too.
Bob...Bob! Can you see me?!? Cuz I can't see you. Is it time for the theme song?

Asia: (looking at the sesame seeds on a bun): " I think they're hamburger tree seeds!"

Asia: Why are these called buttons? 
Brooke: I don't know.
Asia: I thought you knew everything.
Snap!! (she wasn't being saucy...she just honestly thought mommy knew everything! for reals!)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 5: Climate Change

Thank you God for climate change!!

When we arrived in the Philippines, we lived in the city of Manila for almost two years.

We'd like to say that in Manila, it's not the heat, it's the humidity. But, frankly, in Manila, it's both.

We started sweating in the airport the night we arrived, and didn't really stop for almost two years straight.

 Air conditioner on?


Still sweating? Yes.

Our climate change occurred when we moved to our new home, a long ways away from Manila, and, most importantly, a long ways up into the mountains.

The climate here is pure awesomeness compared to Manila. We have no air conditioner in our house, but we are still WAY more comfortable. Almost every day, I think about how thankful I am that we live in a cooler climate now. Why, sometimes it gets down to insanely low 73 degrees and stuff. (definitely jacket and hot cocoa weather around here.)

God can move us to a hot place tomorrow, and that's fine, but I am sure going to enjoy our mountain home while we have it.

Sometimes, the almost daily rain here drives us crazy, but it takes about a 24 hour visit to Manila...and we are ready to head back to our home!

Thank you God for the climate you have placed us in!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 4: Legos and Lincoln Log Awesomeness

Where we live, it rains. A lot. This means that lots of days, playing outside is not an option. (Yes, if we were good parents, we would play with them in the mud every day and laugh about our muddy floors, ruined lawn, and general uncleanliness. But that is what we would do if we were really good parents.)
Thankfully, they all LOVE Legos and Lincoln Logs! We are VERY thankful for every tiny piece!
Lincoln Log village. They identified who lived in each house. Woody (Toy Story) had a house, so did the grandparents, their aunt, and other assorted friends/toys/relatives. Mommy and daddy did not have a house.
Lincoln Log bridge to Nowhere.
Optimus Prime and Bumblebee were stoked about their new log cabin digs.
A real Razor scooter is cool, but with some Legos and some good 4-year old ingenuity, you can just make your own.

According to Miss Skye, this was a "house" and a "table."
And, as I'm sure everyone can guess, this is a "birthday cake".

Legos and Lincoln Logs have kept our underage superheroes entertained for hours, for which we are extremely thankful-----and the boys just got their first "big kid legos" for their birthday...Here's to hoping Lincoln Logs and Legos keep them happy for a looong time!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 3: Ballet

As most of you know, Asia started ballet just before she turned 3 (when we were living in Manila)...  It wasn't a super consistent thing because we were in the middle of Tagalog language study, I was pregnant and it was during naptime. Then, we had a newborn, and ballet was one more expense that we couldn't handle at the time.
Asia's 1st Day of Ballet. Come on...Wasn't she adorable?!? 

Can you find her in that long row of girls?
Well, when we moved here...I told Asia that I wasn't sure if there would be ballet because we were moving to a small town...but WE PRAYED there would be... When we got here...I asked everyone...if they knew if there was ballet classes...  Everyone said the same thing...there used to be but not any more.  So sad!  But, we kept praying...
Then, last April, I got a text from a friend... She had heard that some ballet classes were starting up for the Filipino Summer.  I got Asia in the next day...  GOD ANSWERED OUR PRAYER!
She has been thrilled.  During Summer it was every morning Monday through Friday...but once school started it has been only on Saturdays. 
 It is sooo much nicer having a smaller class because the teacher has time to work one-on-one with the girls.  Asia has really improved!!!  I mean she is only 5 and she inherited my gracefulness...let's just say there's a reason I was on the soccer team, not the pom squad in high school...  But the most important thing is she LOVES it.

Her little class and her teacher.

Us with Teacher Chiqui

I spend her class time hanging with the other moms...trying to practice my Visayan...  And I'm getting to know her teacher...who is also a mom to twin boys.   So, we have an automatic bond.  :)

So, anyway... I'm sooo thankful for ballet...  Because Asia LOVES it and I've been able to make some friends through it.

But mostly, I'm thankful for ballet, because it was AN ANSWER TO OUR PRAYERS.