Saturday, July 12, 2014

Home Front Update July 2014

Girls having fun at friends
Look what I did?
WOW, We are already on the homestretch of this summer internship! Time has flown, though I'm sure that it always does!

We are having lots of fun so I'm sure that why time is going fast. According to the girls this summer is going even faster than last summer. I'm not sure I agree as last summer went fast also. This summer we are here for 11 weeks where as last summer we only did 10 weeks. Of course last summer's internship took us a bit longer to get there than this summer.

Since I've been trying pretty hard to keep you all updated (at least for the grand parents sake :), in photo form with a wee bit of a summary of what we've been up to, I thought for this update I would just talk about some random things and also how we are doing personally before I do that though there is just a couple of thoughts that I would like to get of my 'chest'!

Prayer Request!
While we are having a great/fun/exciting time here in Canada there are plenty of people both in NZ, USA and CA who are struggling/hurting/going through tough times at the moment. So please I urge you to pray for these people in your life or that you know of, you know whom I'm talking about! Pray for them, drop them a meal/card/e-mail/text. We are keeping people in our prayers daily, I hope you will too!

We are so overwhelmed by people's generosity both here in CA, back in the USA and of course our financial backing in the USA. I even got a birthday gift card electronically from a very dear friend in NZ! We are SOOO undeserving of YOUR generosity! One thought I would like to share with you today is the lack of worry we experience. The worry about where our next meal is going to come from, the worry about having to up keep the 'property', house maintenance and general 'worries' that come with owing a house/job etc. Albert is able to concentrate solely on writing sermons, preaching and visiting. He is able to do this as our church here and all our other supporters are looking after us! THANK YOU!

We've finished for the holidays! YES! I managed to persevere for 4 weeks. This means that we are now 4 weeks ahead. I'm planning to start again the week when seminary starts back again. Hopefully we are able to finish by the end of April next year. My personal opinion of homeschooling hasn't changed and after visiting the local Christian school here last week, I'm slightly envious! I fully realize that school (Christian) is not the be all and end all, it's got plenty of faults but it was SOOO attractive. The older the girls are getting the harder it is in keeping up with them especially their English. I've got VERY good students for which I'm so grateful and the girls continue to thrive, they are even VERY social!

We applied to the YMCA for membership but never heard back. We did talk about persuing it but decided not too. Several factors contributed to this, distance to travel being a major one. Instead we decided to get creative in still keeping up our fitness. See here for one :). Albert and I also have almost finished a 30 day AB programme. This program made us do ridiculous amounts of sit-ups (120), crunches (200), leg raises (65) and a ridiculous long time doing a plank! We're up to 1.50 minutes doing a plank, you try do one and then we will talk again! Talk about mental strength! We are also still doing some running a couple of times a week which can be a bit of a struggle in the humidity! The girls are enjoying 'beating' us and spending time with us walking/running!

The girls continue to do well. Parenting continues of course. Since we've been so busy the last couple of weeks with lots of late nights, we decided to take it easier late last week. We sent them to bed early, made them have an afternoon nap on Sunday and stayed home one day. This has made a difference and the girls are ready to go again! Parenting is NOT easy and while generally the girls are great, there is plenty of sin in their lives (as in ours of course!). Teaching some of the older girls to do housework properly is not always an easy or satisfying task. I'm soo grateful that my Mum taught me to do it right the first time and made me go back and back to make sure I got it right. This part sounds soo good in theory but it is a little harder to execute! I mean how hard is it to wash dishes? Come on! Hard apparently because you don't just let a little bit of water and soap touch the dishes and it comes out magically clean!The Girls told  me the other day, they are NEVER (hahaha) going to complain about the dishwasher again! (not that washing dishes is that big a deal, it is just teaching them about the 'art' of washing dishes!). I strongly think that having the right attitude as parents makes ALL the difference in the attitude of the girls. The girls thrive despite of the circumstances. If you like to see for yourself, come and visit, we LOVE visitors!

How am I really?
As you know from my previous posts, I refuse to 'beat about the bush', complain or make things seem fantastic when they aren't. So take this as how I am really :). I'm still living happily I might add even after not having unlimited internet, not being able to watch netflix and no dishwasher in the country!

I thought not having unlimited internet might be a problem but it has not been a problem. It's amazing on what you get used and how quickly. It is slightly sad (NOT a complaint!!) that we are unable to Skype our family (apart from my Mum who I try to Skype weekly) because of the time difference and us having to go to the church. E-mails work great and I'm able to keep up with most people via FB and text. So maybe the internet is not as big a part of my life as I thought it might be! Of course I'm not doing any couponing and so I don't need to be on top of the latest deals! I paid FULL price for Albert's deodorant the other day. I just swallowed my price (I mean pride!) and paid happily :).
No dishwasher - no big deal, girls are doing a great job of keeping up with the dishes after a few 'how to' lessons!

Living in the country - Well this is an interesting concept. Since I don't do many groceries as we are here only for a short time and I only buy what we need (which is very little). It does seem to me to drive 20-30 minutes for only a couple of groceries once a week a bit much. I'm not much of a shopper for anything else bar groceries so it doesn't worry me that the rest of the shops are far away. I suppose the thing that I miss is being able to go for a walk (on the sidewalk), visit the park and making an 'ooops I forgot that grocery item' trip. I do enjoy the 'space' for the girls to play in, they ride their bikes, can fly a kite, build huts, climb trees, like the view, the sunsets etc here in the 'country'! I suppose I did almost have it all when I lived in Wanganui (for those outside Wanganui, look at the photo on the top of the blog, isn't it beautiful?), the shops were VERY close by and the country/river were VERY close by also. I LOVED living there, I miss our walks Brydie, I miss the river and miss walking the dog!  So while I LOVE living in the city and all it's benefits I do enjoy being given the opportunity to live in the country for a short time without all the 'work' that comes with living in the country :).

I'm enjoying visiting people/families, doing some more baking, baking all our bread/buns etc and reading some books. It's nice to have some 'time off'. Albert however is working pretty hard although a different 'hard' compared to seminary! We have most meals together and since Albert has no other responsibilities other than church, he can spend his 'spare' time with us which is lovely!

One of the privileges of being part of a church is meeting people and their stories. Some of their stories are happy ones, some tragic, some sad but with happy endings, some inspiring and others just 'normal' (what ever that means!). It is AWESOME to see that despite what path you travel, God is there with you and does not forsake you no matter the sin/struggle/pain/or joy! It challenges/encourages me to look at my own walk with the Lord, my relationship with people, Albert and the girls.

Phew this is turning into quite an epistle, if you are still with me, well done :). This will probably be my last 'home front' update for a wee while. Some highlights in the next couple of weeks are:

  • Izaak is visiting again! I know, he keeps coming :) (We are looking forward to it, I hope he knows how to grill hamburgers!)
  • Albert's Parent's are coming at the end of the month. We haven't seen them for more than two years so excitement all around!
  • A visit to Pompton Plains! We are taking a detour via Pompton Plains to catch up with all those lovely people from our last summer internship. 
  • A visit with Ben and Franci. I've heard so much about Franci but I've never met her, so looking forward to meeting her in real life!
  • Catching up with the Warners in Pompton Plains and baby Abbiel which we haven't seen yet!
I'm hoping to keep up with the photo blogs as I don't want a repeat of last year's internship and still posting photo's THIS year :(. 

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