Deuteronomy 6:4-9 - Teach Them Diligently

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Irina's second Art Party Birthday - She is 6! April 2011

This was our second Art Party theme for Irina's birthday and I think everyone had a great time being creative and putting their artist skills to work.

My second Lemon cake - Irina liked Tony's so much that she wanted the same thing, so 8 more eggs later here we go.  I did have to redo one layer since I burnt it - 4 more eggs..  It was yummy!

Opening presents!

I had different stations for the different crafts which seemed to work well since we had invited so many people.

And of course there was lots of good food besides cake to eat.

 We even had an opportunity for a nice family photo!
The some of the finished art work before people went home on display.  It was a good time for all of us.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tony's Birthday, a broken collar bone and a trip around town March 2011

Tony and Wesley were gone on outreach up to the day of Tony's birthday.  The girls and I drove out to where they were and joined them.  We had to give way the road for our sheep friends on the left.

 Tony and Wesley had a good time out with BUS4LIFE.
The girls and I got there in time for church.  It was a nice church though during the middle of the sermon - the congregation suddenly got up and left the church.  Though enough of them stayed that we just sat there. We learned later that they had left to go wash each others feet.

I surprised Tony with a cake for his birthday his favorite lemon flavored cake.  Though it was the first time I had made it from scratch.  It was yummy!

We left that Sunday and drove back to town and decided we were early enough to attend the International Church, after getting lost we ended up arriving just as the service was finishing.  It was one of those days where you wish you had just gone home because then Wesley fell and was in pain, though we couldn't see anything wrong with him.

The next day he said he was fine because we had plans to go out on the town, go to McDonalds to eat which he didn't want to miss.  But if you look closely in the photo he is removing my had from his broken collar bone.  Though we didn't know it was broken yet.

Below was right after seeing the doctor.  He ended up having to have his arm and shoulder in a sling for about 6 weeks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wesley Turns Eight! Feb. 2011

For Wesley's 8th Birthday we had a costume party.  He had a great time!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

January 2011 and a New House - ACASA!

 When we first saw this house it was freezing cold!  The heat was off and it hadn't been lived in for six months.  I was impressed with the size not so impressed with the temperature and in all honesty it took me awhile to "warm" up to this house.  It is huge and I felt in many ways like it might be too big for us to live in while serving overseas.  You know the whole suffering missionary doesn't fit when you live in such a nice house.  Though the rent was less than what the people are paying back home to rent our house and this house is bigger.

The owner is a Pastor who is living in the South of Moldova and our rent helps support his ministry there.

Costs for renting an apartment which wouldn't have the yard or the space can be as expensive or more.

All around us here in the capital of Moldova are large houses.  Many people have a small house and a big house on the property.  They live in the small house through the winter and move into the big house during the summer months.   Our lot isn't any different we actually share our garden with two other houses.  You can just see the side of it to the right of the photo above.

The biggest problems with these big houses is heating them.  Our rent is great but heating this house in the winter isn't the cheapest thing.

 The living room in this house was designed with the idea of holding church services in it.  We haven't had a church service here yet, but we have  hosted a few gatherings for our Love Moldova teams and have people over often.

As the house heated up so did our fondest for it.  We don't see ourselves staying in this house the entire time we are here in Moldova but for now it is home and we are enjoying the blessing that God decided to give us for our time in it.  It has been nice for Wesley to have his own bedroom for the first time in his life and the girls are enjoying a messy bedroom of their own.
 The spiral staircase was what sold Tony on this house as it reminded him of the house he grew up in.  They had a spiral staircase and in sharing this aspect with his own children he is very happy about that.  We have only had a couple of nasty falls on these stairs and the kids are quite capable of flying up and down them.

The kitchen always gets interesting comments when people come over.  It has an Italian feel to it and the kids enjoy helping mom by standing on the handy bench.  It is by far the most interesting kitchen I have ever had.

What it lacks in cupboard space it makes up for in character.
The stonework though isn't the easiest thing to clean.

I think that the room I like the best is the bedroom which we use as our school room.  Having schooled out of a two room cabin, a small apartment and my dining room - it is so nice to have a room set aside to school in.  At the end of our school day I can shut the door and be "done" for the day.  Though our school room has a multi-functional feature as the playroom as well and the kids spend a lot of their time playing in there as.  Keeps most of the mess out of the living room which is a great benefit.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Handmade Christmas 2010

 When you travel with just two suitcases per person you have to leave a lot of stuff behind.  One of those things for us was our Christmas Ornaments.

As Christmas approached and I realized the cost of buying ornaments - and these would be cheaply made gaudy ornaments I decided that we would make our own this year.

So with some white paper, glue, glitter and a bit of thought we made our Christmas a "Handmade Christmas."

We did have a Jesse Tree Ornaments lovingly made by our Pastors Wife given to us before we left and we had a special tree for that.  I'll have to do a blog on that this year.

So our White Christmas started with our angel at the top of our tree.  I have a devotional book about praying through the names of  God this combined with a craft project I saw on line I decided to make these paper ornaments with the names of God in Hebrew.  I think some day I would like to expand this idea and do it on something other than paper.

Then I had the kids make christmas trees, a monster, I made a box out of paper and had the kids decorate it like small presents hanging on the tree.   Finally I decided rather than spend the money on expensive wrapping paper I would wrap everything in white printer paper.  And decorate the paper with Christmas drawings and the name of who the present was for.  We had a few gift bags thrown in for extra measure.  I will say it was probably the most last minute Christmas shopping I have ever done but it was a good Christmas and I think the kids enjoyed their Christmas tree since their handy work was all over it.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Schooling In A New Country: Last Year... Nov. 2010 - June 2011

Inside the Bus4Life
When we moved to Moldova last year Wesley was in the second grade and Irina in Kindergarten.

Big Brother
I'm a pretty relaxed homeschooler for Kindergarten my focus being learning to read and Math.  Irina had the option of sitting in on our other school activities History and Science.  Sometimes she participated but sometimes she sat it out.
In the Land Rover
Living in a New Country and for the first few months we were in an apartment above some of OM's offices.  Homeschooling and well just living above offices is challenging for three energetic children.  Tony and I were having meetings, then started language lessons and learning more about our roles that we would be assuming once language learning focus time was over.

 Life was in a general state of flux.

Math U See - Beta for Wesley and Primer - for Irina.
Writing With Ease,
Handwriting Without Tears,
Explode the Code,
Sonlight Core 1 which has a new name now Core B.  Intro to World History Part 1.  We learned all about Egypt and the Roman empire.  We read a book about Myths and ventured into the world of Ms. Piggy Wiggle which we all laughed our way through, and so much more!

It is interesting to look back - the kids did get schooled.

The tiny room they all shared.

It was a year of firsts.  Our first Moldovan Christmas, our first Moldovan New Year - which I will highlight in another post.  We move to our Moldovan house and set up our school room.  It is very nice to have one room as our homeschool room.

Sledding in Moldovan village

Irina with a book in hand
Irina taught herself to read - knowing her letter sounds she very carefully read and reread books.  Asking me, "Mom what is this word? What is this one."  Until soon she was reading chapter books.  It was amazing to see her progression.  By the time New Year came she was reading everything in site keeping herself awake reading book after book after book.  Now I have to limit the number of chapters she reads at night or she wakes up grumpy.

As spring neared we hired a Romanian teacher to give private language lessons to Irina and Wesley.  Lucy hung around the room picking up a bit of this and that.  The kids learned some phrases and got a beginning grasp of the language they are surrounded by.  While they haven't learned it as fast as we thought they would I do think they are slowly learning more than I even realize.

Wanting to do "school" too!

Village Day Center

The transition to a new culture isn't without bumps in the road.  My kids don't like it if I ask them if they like it here in Moldova.  Because really they are happy wherever they are as long as they don't have to think about where they are not.  If that makes sense.

Wesley Reading to Mom

Learning - "Schooling" - isn't just books, pen and paper.  It isn't even all about the 3 R's.  It is about learning to adapt and learn from the people around you.

To take what you learn from books into the world around you wherever that may be.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Saying Goodbye to the States... and then Hello to Moldova

On the road in hmm - Iowa... I think...
Traveling with small children is always interesting.  Oct-Nov 2010 we had our fair share of traveling.  We drove from South Dakota, all over Missouri visiting family, then through Iowa visiting two dear families and then to Minnesota for more family goodbyes.  From there we dropped off our van at an auction house so that the dealer (Harr Motors) that had bought it from us could sell it.  
They by the way let us drive the van until we left - even though we didn't own it anymore.  

Saying goodbye to having a car!

Then we repacked our bags for the third time and loaded them up into my Dad's truck - 11 suitcases and 5 carry-ons.

We then flew out of town for our  - two year journey to the country of Moldova.  A small economically poor country between Romania and the Ukraine.  You can find out more about our work there on our family mission blog - and on the website:

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Halloween In Nixa

An Egyptian Princess, Pooh Bear and a Jedi Knight!

Okay so I'll admit it, I wrestle with myself about Halloween, but in the end we have so much fun thinking of a silly costume that usually reflects something that our children are interested in and well my children love, love, love free candy.

That may seem somewhat lax of a family focused on missions and reaching out to an unreach population - but Halloween is one of the few "Holidays"  really more of an event then a holiday - where you are suppose to knock on your neighbors door and say hello.

I do not take a strong stance on Halloween and don't plan to start.  I have a few rules about what is okay for a costume and what isn't and did once have a conversation with my son - that no I didn't think that God loved Halloween.  But I don't actually think He hates it either.  The Bible doesn't mention it.  Though the Bible does address many issues that people do connect with Halloween and I totally respect people that feel strongly to not celebrate it in any way.

This year Halloween ended up taking place in Nixa, MO where a large portion of my husband family lives.  I have to say that it was the most fun we ever had. - In the North, Halloween usually ends up on a dark cold night so we run around to a few of our neighbors houses and are back inside in about 30 to 45 mins. I don't remember ever having such a nice bright day for Halloween like we had this year.  We had a lot of fun going door to door with some cousins.

It ranks as the most fun Halloween that I've had since I was a kid.

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