Thursday, August 31, 2006

Making Friends

In case any of our family is worried, we are making friends. I think I mentioned in an earlier blog that we've hooked up with a pretty international small group. Corinne & Marcos are friends we've made from that group through Equippers Church. They are from Switzerland, over here for Bible College. They're quite an amazing couple. They spent their first 5 months here travelling around New Zealand on their bikes! On this night, they had us over for dinner and to check out their photos. It was a amazing & Corinne is a spectacular cook! We've been so blessed by the people here and just sense God's provision in the friendships He's forming for us. Posted by Picasa

Preggie Belly 31 Weeks

I haven't blogged a lot about the pregnancy...primarily just the belly, but I think I will today. Mostly for me, but feel free to read on. This pregnancy has been incredible. I've felt absolutely the best I've felt in my life! Baby hormones must be good for all the excitement of the coming birth and the attention. I've been really enjoying it. Recently, some health issues have come up and initially they were really stealing my joy. It was kind of a distraction from the real event and I ran the gamut of emotions. I had a realization, though, that only the enemy steals, kills, and destroys and knew that God wanted me focused on His creation, not on enemy activity. So, I'm still having to deal practically with the health issues, and I would love your prayers about that, but with Jesus' grace, I'm walking free of worries or stress about it and not allowing it to taint this joyous time of life! Blessed be His name!
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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Care Packages!

Normalcy. I wouldn't have expected there to be many cultural differences between the US and New Zealand, but there are little things. And, now that I'm out of the "feels like vacation" phase of moving to a new country, I've begun to have minor longings for some thing that feel normal. Like a cereal aisle that looks familiar, not having to stare at a barrage of deodorants carrying labels I don't know in roll on or spray versus my usual stick 'o Secret, people getting my jokes, no fear of laughing inappropriately. I am now capable of driving without constantly telling myself, "stay left, stay left" or turning on the windshield wiper when I intended the turn signal and I'm no longer getting honked at for not knowing New Zealand's crazy rule about the person turning right (mind you across traffic!) having the right of way! However, it would be nice to hop in the car and know where the Target is (or to have Target for that matter!). Interestingly, one of the things bringing me out of the homesickness phase is making connections. Of course making connections helps, but it hasn't been so much with the Kiwis (though we've met some awesome Kiwi's and really find them friendly and loaded with hospitality!) and there certainly isn't an American to be found, but we've connected with the other international transplants! We've found ourselves in a small group at church made up not only of some great Kiwi's, but also people from Germany, Switzerland, France, & Korea! Its an amazing group! So, though we're making it through our search for similarity and embracing the fascinating differences, I couldn't have been happier to wake up to a bowl of Fruity Pebbles (courtesy of mom!) every day this week and put on my new maternity clothes, which all fit perfectly (courtesy of Vivian!) that arrived in timing only God could have orchestrated. It made me feel loved and known and most importantly for now, at home. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The "What-are-we-going-to-do-with-all-these-Apples" Apple Cobbler

This was Mike's handiwork & photography...I might have gotten caught with a piece of pie dough! I've given up cookie dough for the duration of the pregnancy ever since I gave myself baby nightmares worrying about salmonella, so this frozen dough was an indulgence. Mike & I admitted that the cobbler's best feature was its beauty! We're gonna have to get a real gramma's recipe! Posted by Picasa

The Preggie Belly Progression: 29 Weeks

"For thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully & wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, And my soul knows it very well."
-Psalm 138: 13-14
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Buckland's Beach Sunset

"Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! Praise Him all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sund and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light! Prasie Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created."
-Psalm 148: 1-5 Posted by Picasa

New Zealand Hospitality

This weekend was about hospitality & the generosity of God. I won't go through the whole friend of a friend scenario on this one, but to say that Anne, Dave, & their family have become sort of our New Zealand surrogate family. They invited us to their home this weekend for a beautiful walk on Buckland's Beach, coffee & nibbles, a real New Zealand Roast (including Kumara, Pumpkin, Plumb cake & Hokie Pokie ice cream!). We finally learned some of the ins & outs of rugby as we watched New Zealand beat Australia (a big rivalry!). They then took us to their church & to Anne's sister, Linda's house afterward for lunch. We had a great time just enjoying temporarily being a part of family on the other side of the world. God is so generous & He's really using this family to extend His hand to us. Posted by Picasa