Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Summer 2007 shots

This summer we were so busy that I didn't blog like I planned. But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words so here are some shots from the summer!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Summer Camps Season 2007

‘Look at it, Mr. Frodo!’ said Sam. ‘Look at it! The wind’s changed. Something’s happening. He’s not having it all his own way. His darkness is breaking up out in the world there. I wish I could see what is going on!’ “
I’m with Sam! I wish I could see what is going on! But there are obvious signs that the wind has changed and that darkness is being broken up! Our fourth and fifth camps were in full swing when Blake was reading through this part of The Lord of the Rings and we didn’t miss the irony of Tolkien’s words. Slovenia’s own story is enough proof of this without having to go to fiction . I asked you to pray for “my girls”: Neja, Maja and Barbara. What started out 5 years ago as an English tutoring class, has now has become Bible study and one of my favorite parts of the week. In the spring the girls expressed an interest in being able to lead a discussion with unbelievers. Each of them took turns leading our time together and then we would evaluate and talk about how Jesus is relevant to the things we face in this world.
Well, at English camp this year the three of them were responsible for the late night party activities and then individually they were in classes and discussion groups. Two of the girls had invited school friends to camp and prayed eagerly for opportunities to share with them. The short version is that now my disciples have disciples of their own! And they plan to start a new believer’s bible study together as a group. I just can’t get over how proud I am of them and how the Lord answered our requests above and beyond what we asked!
This week Josh and our team have begun a two week theology school course. When we arrived in Slovenia we quickly realized that in order to train young leaders we would have to begin at the beginning and start evangelizing first. We hadn’t expected that these new believers would move so quickly to the point of being prepared for leadership and further training. There is no Bible School in Slovenia and rather than send our people away to other countries; it’s our goal and desire to give them that training here. We found a great little place with a house for the guys, a house for the girls, meals taken care of and plenty of picturesque sites for study and prayer. Please pray for the 10 students who are beginning this course and will continue with supplemental studies through the next 2 years.

We have begun our seventh year in Slovenia and while we continue to wrestle our way through obstacles; we feel very much at home here. The children have a great tutor situation in their school that has really helped to sharpen their skills. Blake and Rebecca finished the school year with a B average and Kendra was declared by her teacher to be “quite the leader in her class”. (That may be code for bossy but it’s clear she feels very comfortable there!) Luke is walking now and has been dubbed “Mali (little) Mister Josh”!

One of the developments in feeling settled here is that we feel the Lord directing us to look for a home to buy. In our 16 years of marriage we’ve always rented. We’ve always been in motion; having lived in three different countries in five different homes, not to mention the transition years of staying with family and friends. We aren’t quite sure what all this means since the housing market in this capital city is crazy expensive. And with four children, we are a bit larger than the average Slovene family. But we are asking the Lord to show us what His intentions are.
I do feel at times like Sam, that I wish I knew what was going on. We are well aware that more is happening than we can see. But it’s a joy to be certain that the winds are changing, that the Lord is at work bringing about His glory and that all these days of camp, of meeting students, of establishing bible studies and youth groups; even days of just living life and going to school or the grocery store are part of His plan for Slovenia and her story in the church who He loves so much.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,” Ephesians 3:20-21
With Joy in the journey,
Josh and Kristi, Blake, Rebecca, Kendra and Luke

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Grandpa and Nana come to visit

Becca, Margaret and Kendra

Josh's mom and dad came for a visit and we had a wonderful week together! We decided we'd have a birthday party for all of us since they were bringing presents for all the upcoming birthdays. (Three of our children have birthdays in the next 5 weeks!) We had gifts for them as well so we made ourselves a cake and sang "Happy Birthday to us!"

We also took them to "our" camping spot. A place on a farmer's property about 45 minutes from the city that Josh and Blake found years ago. And nearby is the fishing hole that we frequent. So after a couple hours of fishing we took our catch, visited with the farmer's wife and son and then made a campfire then cooked our fish over the open fire and felt very pleased with ourselves!

The shape of the words

Luke hasn't started talking yet. I don't mean that he doesn't talk, infact, he's talking all the time! Just not looking right at me and saying ma ma sort of talking. But we get such a kick out of hearing him copy things that are being said around him. Rebecca said the other day, "Isn't it cute to hear Luke try and say the shape of the words that we say?" I thought that was a very insightful way to describe what he's doing as he's learning to speak. Then the kids had a discussion about how that's the way they speak slovene. They try to copy the shape of words when they hear something new. Very different than the way I go about learning Slovene. I write it down and then memorize it and if I hear it again I try to remember it off the page I wrote it on. I think I should try their way!

Monday, February 12, 2007

A traumatic morning

Luke is the most amazing baby. I'm sure you think that goes without saying but it really is the truth. He's the kind of kid that you hand over to someone who wants to hold him and you know he's going to make them feel so great about themselves. He smiles, interacts and gives warm reassuring glances to you as you hold him.

In Novemember when Josh and I took him to the states though, we sort of threw off his sleeping patterns. There he was at 4 months being his amazing self and we messed him up by dragging him half way across the world and visiting tons of people in 5 states in three time zones in 10 days.

So I wasn't surprised when we returned home and he didn't drop right back into schedule. The thing about him is that even when he wakes up in the middle of the night he is so sweet and friendly that it's only a blip.

Well, then it was the holidays. Ok. So I wasn't thinking straight and realizing that he still wasn't getting back into sleeping through the night. But he's still young, right?

In January I was ready to get more than 2 or 3 hours of sleep in a row. But this kid. He's so good to you, makes you feel like a million bucks, you don't realize that this really shouldn't be allowed. They say that Josh was like that as a kid. At parent teacher conferences they would be talking about how he was progressing. "He's wonderful! Very smart and talented!" The teacher would say. "Great! " Mom and Dad would say. "How are his grades and homework coming?" "Well, " long pause from teacher, "He's actually not doing so well as we'd like. Hmmm." Puzzeled look from teacher. All because he was just so likeable they hadn't realized he wasn't actually faring that well in school.

Well, last night I realized we (Luke and I) are not faring that well. After 3 sets of 2 hours of sleep and then day starting and with Josh on his second trip away in the last three weeks. I am not getting enough sleep to just cope. And if I feel like that my baby must be feeling some of it. So I decided to put the hammer down.

I determined to let Luke cry for his morning nap. Well, he fell asleep on the way home from dropping the kids off at school. But when I put him into his crib he went right back to sleep. Ok. After one hour he was ready to be up. So that's how it's gonna be huh? He got up and we did our normal routine and at the late morning nap time I laid him down. I decided I am not the cold turkey mom. So I went in every 15 minutes and checked on him gave him his pacifier and left again. I was relentless....well, after I got done crying outside the bedroom door I walked away didn't I? After 3 sets of these he's out cold and I'm an emotional wreck. I think we both need our dad!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A very Patty Christmas

Christmas Eve was spent at our church and the kids performed The Mouse's Tale in Slovene with all their sunday school friends. They were wonderful! Totally unbiased opinion from their mother of course!

Before the program began each kid got to play a song of their own chosing on their instrument. The Jackson's loaned Kendra this music maker, a stringed instrument you plucked. She loved having a chance to play since she hasn't got to start playing piano like Blake and Becca. She stole the show playing "Still, Still, Still" It was funny because the other playing had been sort of like nice, christmasy background music. Which was our intention but Kendra's instrument was different and so I think eveyone thought things were getting started. As soon as she started plucking the place became silent. And if you know our little girl, she ate up the attention!

Afterwards we had our teammates, the pastor and his wife and some other missionary friends join us for food and singing and story telling. It was a wonderful night together.

This year our Christmas morning was spent with only the memebers of our immediate family! What a change! Every year we've been joined by special friends or family but this year it was just us. We took our time opening gifts. Stopped occasionally to enjoy a cinnamin roll (homemade.mmmmm!) and coffee or orange juice. Even Scout had his own stocking this year!