Saturday, November 30, 2013

Day 30: The Stache

I "mustache" you a question....
I'm super, super thankful that it's the last day of November...
As you have probably noticed by now...Brian has been participating in "No Shave November"(Movember)...whatever you want to call it.  
And I'm thankful it's the last day of the month...because it means that Brian can finally shave off all that facial hair.  YUCK!  haha  We've been married for over 10 years and this is the first time that he has grown his facial hair...and I'm pretty sure that it'll be the last...  haha
Anyway...we had a bit of fun with it today...So, ENJOY.  
People have asked me what I thought about it... first thought was..."It's not as grey as I thought it was going to be..."  haha
I don't like it & neither does, it all works out...
The thing that really made us that he has a large bald patch between his beard and his sideburns on both sides. haha
The other thing that made me laugh was that my darling husband was convinced that he looked sooo much cooler with his sunglasses on.  haha  Seriously...laughing as I write this...  I really love that he's such a good sport and takes my teasing sooo well...
He shave the sides off until he had just the mustache and goatee...the funniest part...he was like that for hours...and THE KIDS NEVER NOTICED!
 Next, he came out like this...  YIKES!  And, lots of this time the kids had caught on...
 And then, this... DOUBLE YIKES!  CREEPY!  haha
And finally...Awww...There's my dear husband that I love and adore!  haha

Anyway..Thankful that it's the last day of the, that Brian could shave.
And, thanks to Bri for shaving all that off today.
By the way...I'm thinking of getting you back by not shaving all winter.  Love ya!  hahaha

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Day 28: Thanksgiving

So today of course, we are thankful for American Thanksgiving. And, our little Pilgrims and Native Americans had a great time celebrating together. 
The kids did all kinds of crafts---Everything from cut-out turkeys to pictures to cornucopias. 
And, we all enjoyed some pumpkin pie! (Well, squash pie, but mommy is the ingredient substitution tasted great) We had a super simple Thanksgiving at home this year....pumpkin penne pasta and a roasted chicken...Brooke says what she was thankful for was a nearly stress-free turkey day. Mostly because there was very little cooking, no turkey, and a much more relaxing day than Thanksgiving normally is. It's the first low-key Thanksgiving we've had in years....usually we have invited a lot of people to celebrate with us, which is wonderful, but it was kind of nice to take it easy for once.
The kids got even more into the spirit with some cool Thanksgiving props... 
They had so much fun they didn't even realize all the football games they were missing. We substituted all that by re-watching our Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade dvd that was taped in 2010. The kids still love it every year, but we're thinking taping a new parade might be nice.

And, the following pictures of our little pilgrims and Native Americans are what we are really thankful for--four happy healthy kiddos who drive us crazy every day, but fill our lives with fun too...sometimes more fun than we can handle. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day 27: NTMA Typhoon Haiyan Relief Flights

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda is long gone, but the effects will last a long time.

We are very thankful that our NTMA pilots have been able to fly in tons of supplies to some of the more isolated islands that haven't yet received other aid.  The picture below shows the path of the typhoon. In the blue oval you can see where most of the aid is going. But the typhoon didn't stop there. In the area of the red circle, the typhoon also devastated the region, but it is much more difficult to get aid to these isolated areas. And, most aid work has been centered in the most densely populated areas.

So, our pilots have been supplying these isolated areas where fewer people live, but the need is still huge.
This map shows the areas where our pilots are helping.

In the words of one of our pilots:

"I got to fly into several different places that have been overlooked as far as aid. It's really interesting to watch people's faces, at first they can't figure what a helicopter is doing landing on their beach and then they see me taking bags off and they start to smile. You also can see that some people are completely shocked that someone actually cares they just stand there with a look of wonder. 
Kids in one of the stricken areas, excited to see the helicopter!
The most satisfying experience of this whole time so far is a guy that came up to me shook my hand but would not let go and stood there looking at me while his eyes filled with tears and he just said thank you over and over. That one moment was easily worth all the work of the past week. As I flew home I realized how unfair it is that I get to experience that just because I am the last link in a incredibly long chain of people that have made this happen. I wanted to share it in hopes that it is really encouraging to all the people that are working so hard but don't get the privilege to see the end result. I'm grateful that God is allowing us the privilege of serving this way."
NTMA Helicopter flying in much-needed supplies.
November 27 NTMA UPDATE: "We are all still plugging along! With 2 planes & 1 helicopter pretty much flying all the time, we've flown 160+ hours & hauled almost 44,000 lbs of cargo around! Our relief efforts are still focused on small islands surrounding Palawan & helping them get food & shelter until they can get back on their feet. Thank you for are your prayers & encouragement. God has been so faithful in providing all we need."

Today we are thankful for our NTMA co-workers as they continue to bring much-needed help to the devastated ares.

Pictures borrowed from various fellow missionaries.  :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day 26: Milo and the Bull

Well, it seems like half a lifetime ago, but this is how I used to get from the minivan to the house back in the States. The boys were about 6 months old and Asia was 2. Brian always told me I shouldn't stop. He always brought up Milo and the Bull.

For the two of you who don't remember, Milo was a famous Greek wrestler in the ancient Olympics. Brian says that most historians believe he actually lived. Anyway, to train for the Olympics, he would get a young calf. Every day, he would lift it. Until finally, he was carrying around a full-grown bull. And yes, he won the laurels.
So, I kept on carrying my little bulls (and heifers) This is  with two 2.5 year old boys and our 8-month old Skye-- back when we lived in Manila...
Here comes the thankful part: they're 5 years old, and I can still pick up both my boys! Thanks for the tip, Milo.
And, if Skye holds on tight, I can add her into the mix too. Thank God I can still carry my kids, and thank God that they still will want me to! Actually before we took pictures, they were fighting over who I was going to carry. 

It won't be long before a request for a hug will get an "Aaaww, mom...."  I'm gonna enjoy it as long as I can. 

Today, we are thankful for the ancient Olympic example of Milo and his Bull.

Now if I can just figure out how to pick up all four kids at the same time...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 25: Thankful Kiddos

So today, we decided to ask the kids what they were thankful for...These are their replies:
Asia said: "I'm thankful that Una (her friend) got to come play today!" 
Leif answered: "Pineapple!!" Hmm...if you read yesterday's blogpost, you might see a pattern developing here...
Slater was thankful for: "Christmas!!" Later on this evening, he asked mommy, "Is tomorrow Christmas?!?" Mommy is thankful that she was able to reply, "No, but it's exactly one month from today." This was not the answer he wanted, but it was better than nothing.
And, Skye is thankful for: "Strawberries!" Hmmm....we had to steal this photo from Google...cuz we haven't seen strawberries for at least 6 months. At least she hasn't forgotten about them.

Well, today, we are very thankful that our kids have something to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Day 24: Leif

Leif...he's our class clown/tough guy/dog whisperer. He always loves to make people laugh, but he understands the need for big muscles too.
He's probably either flying to outer space or going to the grocery store in this picture...but we may never know.
The Kryptonite that can stop our young superman has not yet been discovered.
He absolutely LOVES pineapple! For some reason, it's also his favorite answer to any question. As in, Brooke asked him tonight during their Bible story: "Who was it that walked on the water?" 

Leif: "Pineapple!!" 

Oh dear.
He has also been doing a lot of dog whispering lately...and making sure that our dog Bear (who weighs considerably more than Leif does) knows that Leif is definitely the Alpha in this particular dog-human relationship. Bear seems to be getting the message. 
Yup, poor dog. But Leif gives him a lot of lovin' too....a boy and his dog is a beautiful thing.

Good job Leif.
Good dog Bear.

We love you Leif and we are soo thankful for you!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day 23: Saturdays

Saturdays...They are a bit insane here. But we are sure thankful for them! Not all of these pictures are from today...but all of these things happened today. Brooke's boxing started off our day, as she headed off with her friends by 6 AM to train.
Next, it was Skye's ballet lesson. She loves heading off to see teacher Chiqui and the other young ballerinas!
After Jetes and Plies, there's always a few minutes for Daddy...
Today, in the middle of it all, we celebrated Thanksgiving with our co-workers...however, we were kinda rushed so we only got one picture....of Skye swinging by herself. We had to leave really early so that... 
...We could make it to Asia's ballet lesson on time. I think she's getting the hang of it! :) 
While Asia did her pirouettes, the rest of the kiddos burned off some energy playing outside... 
The boys made our dog wish once again that he had an easy bomb-sniffing or something else more mundane...
Asia made it home in time to try a bit of sisterly dancing. 
And, of course the day ended with our poor dog once again getting harassed by his four favorite little people. In spite of all the craziness....It was a good day....Thanks God for Saturdays!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Day 22: Slater

We are super thankful for our artist/Lego engineer/part-time superhero Slater. He's a crazy kid with waay too much energy, but when he sits down with pencil and paper or a box of Legos, he can also focus on one thing for a surprisingly long time. He has been trying to convince me (Brian) that what I would really like for my next birthday is Legos. I'm thinking he would be more that willing to help daddy play with his new toys....

When he's not doing that, he's normally bouncing off the walls, and thinking up some new mischief with his doppelganger Leif. It is becoming more and more interesting (and funny) listening to their conversations...about everything from rocket boots to snow in America to what they want for Christmas. They really are twins.
Slater is also getting better at riding his big sister's bike. Anything that goes fast is always a good idea in our house.
Sometimes, it seems like he really is a superhero, but his alter-ego is anything but mild-mannered...
We love our Slater-boy---Here he is with his recently super-glued forehead and yet another drawing. He has grown up so much in the last year, but sometimes, he is still our cute little blue-eyed boy who wants to cuddle. We're trying to enjoy that while we can, because we'll blink and it'll be soo uncool to be seen hugging mommy or daddy.

Love you Slater!  We are so thankful for you!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 21: NEW JAMMIES!'s the simple things. Like...A BRAND-NEW PAIR OF SUPERHERO JAMMIES!!
Does it get any better? Tonight, it's our kids turn to be thankful...they all got new jammies, and I have never seen kids so eager to get their baths so they could get into their bedrooms and put on their pajamas. They are very thankful for jammies.
Hello Kitty and The Care Bears also made an appearance...and there was great joy and happiness all around.
So tonight, we have some kiddos who are falling asleep with visions of pajamas in their heads....and we'll see how many of them want to wear jammies to school tomorrow...