Saturday, December 30, 2006

It's been a busy week with Christmas and travelling to and from Tauranga. We had a lovely Chrissy with Nigel's family and then a second one with my family on the 27th. Of course we got lots of great pressies and ate too much food so this next week it's all salads and cold ham for us (not that we're complaining mind). Last night I was snuggling into my darling when I felt a creepy crawly on my elbow. I brushed it away and as I did the little blighter bit me! We quickly turned on the light and saw a big black spider crawling around my pillows. Yucky yucky. It wasn't like this one in the pici (I thought this one looked good for effects :-) but it sent everyone into a mild panic as we iced it and prayed that there would be no long lasting problems. This morning, when I woke up, all was fine but it is open season on all spiders from now on.

Tomorrow is New Year's eve. Back home it is a BIG event with año viejos (a large paper mache effergy) and loads of fireworks. Here in NZ it is a much quieter affair. We will probably play some games and eat (what more eating?) with friends and my parents. It will be very quiet indeed and I may not even make it to midnight.

Next Saturday the packers arrive to take us to Auckland. We are kind of looking forward to it and kind of not. I know that might sound silly but it's yet another move and we've had enough of that. The boys announced that they were 50% wanting to stay in Palmerston North, 49% wanting to return to Ecuador and 1% wanting to move to Auckland. I guess that's how we all feel right now but it's part of God's next step for us so we will be obedient and move. He's bound to have some good things in store for us there. Can't wait to find out what they are.

Happy 2007 to you all.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


I pray that you have a blessed Christmas with family and friends, wherever you are this weekend. May the Lord grant you peace and happiness for today and all of 2007. Thanks for hanging out with me on my journey "home".

We are in Tauranga with Nigel's family for Christmas day then whizzing back to Palmerston North the next day for another Christmas with my family. It's so nice to be with family. I've missed it.

With love, many blessings and many happy Christmas wishes to you and yours


Thursday, December 21, 2006


"....the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry, is how long must I wait to be with you. I close my eyes and I see your face. If home's where the heart is then I'm out of place. Lord won't you give me strength to make it through somehow. I've never been more homesick than now. Help me Lord because I don't understand your ways. The reason why, I wonder if I'll ever know. But even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same because I'm still here so far away from home. In Christ there are no goodbyes. In Christ there is no end. So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have, to see you again. I close my eyes and I see your face. If home's where the heart is then I'm out of place. Lord won't you give me strength to make it through somehow. I've never been more homesick than now." (Mercy Me 2004)

What more can I say. It's been a hard week.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

This is the Regent Theatre in Palmerston North's main street. It is a beautiful old art deco building that has recently been renovated and is now used for major productions and university graduations in the region. Last night my boys school had their end of year production here. It was fabulous! It was based around a magical, musical bus tour through our city, surrounding regions and school. The show was 1 1/2 hours long but was extremely well done.

I have to admit to a wee cry as I watched my boys on stage, performing with 350 other children. The looked like real kiwi kids and not Ecuadorians. I was so proud of them for how well they have taken the adjustment back to NZ. We threw them into school just one week after arriving in the country and they have taken to it like ducks to water. Tomorrow is their last day at Winchester School so it is another round of farewells for them. It's not going to be easy to change schools next year. In some ways this has been a soft landing for them as they remembered many kids from 3 years ago as well as staff. Next year, however, they will be in totally foreign environments with school uniforms, different expectations and no friends. They are starting from scratch (as we all will be) and I suspect it won't be easy for them. At least we have 6 weeks before we have to worry about all that so we are going to enjoy being in our own home (we move the 6th January) and settling into our own space.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Yesterday was a grumpy, miserable, homesick day. I felt really sad and struggled most of the day. It wasn't until Nige and I hid away and chatted that I felt a little better (actually the fairy mushrooms we opened (candy) helped enormously as well :-)

I woke up feeling blah although I was looking forward to the Christmas pageant by the children's church at the morning service. I had missed out on traditional Christmas Carol services for the past 8 years (some Ecuadorian Christians think that Christmas and all the carols etc are a waste of time) so was looking forward to a good old sing along. My mood wasn't helped by the opening hymn being "Chesnuts roasting on an open fire" and then the offertory hymn was "Ruldoph the red nosed reindeer"! Talk about culture shock!! The kids did well and then the service was about acknowledging those who had served in the kids ministry but it was all presents and niceities. So different to what I have become accostomed to.

The weather had turned cold again. We had had such beautiful days this past week but yesterday was windy and wet and most of the time my feet were freezing. I'm sick of being cold. I want warm, sunny weather that makes you sweat! I pump the heat up in my car to keep myself warm. It's pathetic!

I questioned how my life is making a difference to those who have less than me, who need to know God. In Ecuador I could be different positively and encourage others in their lives but here I'm just bumming around, eating candy and missing home.

I know it is a passing faze and today I feel a bit better. I think I have had enough of doing not much and am ready to set up home, bake in my kitchen, help my family settle into some good routines and begin work in the office (although that won't be until April). It's not an easy place to be in but I still know that God has asked this of us so am willing to weather these storms for Him.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

It's Christmas time. I just love it.We have entered the Christmas season and last week we decorated our fresh pine tree with lights, tinsel and all of my parents decorations. The boys and I found some silly masks and hats and we had some fun. Its nice to see the lights at night (once the sun finally sets around 8:30PM) and the boys faces light up at the wonder of Christmas. They haven't really put their orders in for pressies knowing that we have just bought a house but I'm sure, if I asked them, they would have a list a mile long. We are spending Christmas Day with Nigel's family and then travelling back to Palmerston North the next day for a Scoones family Christmas on the 27th. It is so nice to be able to spend this time of year with family. That's one thing I found really hard back home in Ecuador....not having family around on special occasions. I have wrapped all my pressies and finished all my shopping. The boys have just 3 1/2 days left of school for the year and next week are performing a school thing at a large, fancy theatre here in town. I'm looking forward to that.

Our anniversary yesterday was just lovely. We had a whole day to enjoy each other's company and have fun relaxing together. Nige surprised me with 15 beautiful roses. It has been his tradition to buy me a rose for every year of marriage but I figured that I wouldn't get them this year as they are so expensive here. I was always spoilt with more in Ecuador.....20 roses in a big arrangement for just $5! It was a lovely surprise. We drove around the surrounding areas, looked in small crafty shops, relaxed in a spa pool filled with bubbles, ate a picnic lunch in the city's rose gardens (one of the top 5 rose gardens in the world) and then had a lovely dinner out. It was a special day together, just the two of us. I am thankful to God for a loving husband and a great relationship. I'll have to pray for loving wives for my boys when they get older. There's nothing better!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tomorrow is our 15th Wedding Anniversary. Yay!!!!
It seems very strange to think that it was 15 years ago that I dressed in white and was sung up the church aisle by my prince charming. What a fun day it was. So many happy memories. Then there have been 15 years of highs and lows but I wouldn't have made it through them without my man by my side. We have had a lot of adventures and I am looking forward to many more.

I know that 15 years is something to celebrate. There are many couples in the world who haven't been as fortunate as me. There are many broken families out there.

Tomorrow we are off for a picnic lunch with all our favourite foods then to the motel where we stayed our weddng night. This time we will have a spa pool in our room so there will be lots of soaking and bubbles around. Then we are going out to our favourite restaurant for dinner. That's the joys of having grandparents around. We can get away for the day and night. Yippee!!!

I heard this song the other day and it reminded me of my hubby and I. Perhaps you will think of your loved one as you read it.

Me Without You. (Rebecca Saint James)

Like a band without a drummer
That's me without You
Like a year without a summer
That's me without You
Like a king without a country
Like a room without a view
Like an empty gun
Like a fatherless son
That's me without You

Like a ship without a rudder
That's me without You
Like a child without it's mother
That's me without You
Like a story with no ending
Like a foot without a shoe
Like a wasted feast
Like faithless priest
That's me without You

Me without You
A pitiful sight
Me without You
It ain't never gonna feel right

Like a war without an enemy
That's me without You
A disease without a remedy
That's me without You
Like a crime without a victim
Like a sleuth without a clue
Like an empty gun
Like a fatherless son
That's me without You

Me without You
A pitiful sight
Me without You
It ain't never gonna feel right

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Strawberries! I just love'em. It's the beginning of the strawberry season here in NZ and I have to admit to having had a hard time waiting for them to arrive and get cheaper in price. Back home in Ecuador I could buy them every week. They never seemed to get any more expensive (Christmas is a really expensive time to buy strawberries and I mean REALLY).

I love them covered in icing sugar with a big blob of cream. Deathly for any diet but they are a fruit so have to be good for you :-)

Today I'm whizzing up the road to buy a couple of kilos (1 kilo is $3NZD) and then I'm turning them into jam. Isaac loves strawberry jam and there really is nothing better then fresh, sticky, sweet jam. Hopefully it turns out okay. I haven't made jam in years so Mum gave me a quick lesson before she disappeared off to work. Maybe this is the beginning of me, the perfect housewife and mother....aren't they supposed to do baking and makes jams and jellies?

Friday, December 01, 2006

This has been a very busy week. Nige arrived home from his tripping around, on Tuesday and since then we have been trying to sort out insurances, budgets for next year and getting quotes for removal companies to move our stuff to Auckland. On top of this we also had an evening for our supporters to honour and thank them for all that they have given to us and our ministry in the past years. I spent most of 2 days cooking desserts and nibbles. We treated them to empanadas and tres leches which all went down a treat. We played silly games, had a piñata and gave them a small gift like the pici beside this. We bought heaps of these balsa wood birds from Puyo last November when we went to the Amazon jungle for a holiday. They were great gifts as they were cute and extremely light to carry. It was a fun night. We are extremely grateful to all our supporters, both financial and prayer, who have supported us through 8 years of ministry. Without them our mission wouldn't survive. It is indeed living by faith.

Last night the boys and I went to a concert at our church. The christian band "The Lads" was there and they played for 2 hours. It was a fun night and I just loved watching the boys jumping up and down to the music. They so enjoyed themselves. Caleb came home hoarse and very tired. They were worn out. It's great to have such amazing music and role models for my kids. They are playing again at church on Sunday so that will be great as well. We got their autographs on CD's and my kids will never forget their first, real, rock concert.