Sunday, September 27, 2009


Sunday, September 20, 2009

We drove to Ridgeville, South Carolina and had lunch with a friend we knew from Harlingen. Then we continued on to Columbia and stayed with friends from residency days. Actually Don wasn’t married when he was in residency, so it was wonderful to meet his wife and their baby.

Monday, September 21, 2009

We drove to Charleston and toured Fort Moultrie, where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired. We could see (famous) fort Sumter across the bay. Mid-afternoon we arrived at our friend’s house. We knew the Wolpert’s in Harlingen when they were missionaries to Mexico. How fun it is to hang out with a family who has more kids than us (they have seven).

Fort Moultrie with the view of Fort Sumter in the distance

Kids on the beach at Charleston

Casillo de San Marcos

As a kid, Jeff always wanted to visit Castillo de San Marcos (a 1672 Spanish fort) at St Augustine, Florida(the oldest American city).

We got to go and had a great history lesson. The fort stood firm against English attacks and helped Spain to hold Florida for many years. During the American Revolution, it became a British stronghold. Later, it became a battery in the US coastal defense system.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We got up early and left Alabama….This has been the pattern of our road trip…staying up way too late (kids and adults), walking up way to early and dragging our sleepy kids out of bed and shoving them in the car for hours and hours and hours of sitting. The kids really have done great though. We praise God often that they are easy-going and happy. We’ve been able to get some home schooling done in the car, which helps the time go by quicker. Tyler, our usually very copasetic child, is the only one showing sign of culture shock. Recently he has been acting out towards us and her siblings. He says multiple times a day, “I just want to go home to Lady (our dog in Paraguay).”

Mid-afternoon we arrived at our friend’s (Jeremy and Rose Porter) house outside of Pensacola. Shortly after, we headed for the beach. Our kids (they have 4 and one on the way) had a blast riding, jumping over and being swallowed by the waves. We had an incredible fish dinner that evening.

Jeremy and Rose Porter with their 4 kids (and one on the way)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Yesterday we got up early, left Pensacola and headed to Naples – a 9 hour drive! We were tired of sitting by the time we arrived at our friend’s house (the Georges) at 9pm. The George family served in Paraguay when we were there. They are on home assignment and praying about where and when to return.

This morning we went to the beach and enjoyed a wonderful relaxing day. The water was so warm and calm and we saw dolphins swimming just a few yards from us!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday we got up early and heading to Jacksonville. We stopped in Titusville for lunch with my uncle (my dad’s brother) and his wife. We hadn’t seen them since ’92. Around 5:00pm we arrived at the hotel and Jeff immediately had to get ready for the rehearsal dinner (he’s a groomsman for a high school friend). The kids and I swam and ordered pizza.

This morning we went into St Augustine and toured Castillo San Marco. The fort was built late 1600s – talk about being packed with history! The kids and I had a bit of time to swim before heading to the wedding (Jeff had to be there earlier for pictures).

Uncle Tom and Glenna

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Sunday, September 13, 2009
Spanish Port

We left Houston early and by lunch we were in Louisiana, so we ordered gumbo (when in Rome…).

After driving through Mississippi we arrived at about 6:00pm at our friend’s (Amy and Brent Wilson) house in Spanish Port, Alabama. Amy is also from Belton where she and Jeff went to the same high school and youth group. We knew Brent from college. We have never met their three kids (and one on the way) since they have been living in Germany since they married 11 years ago.

Eating gumbo in Louisiana

Touring Old Alabama town in Montgomery

Monday, September 14, 2009

We left early and headed south to Birmingham. Along the way we stopped in Montgomery and toured Old Alabama Town – two city blocks of 1800 buildings. It was pretty interesting.

Our second detour was to visit Marie Agee who organizes the trips to MET/Health Talents – the medical mission trip Jeff and I met on in 1995. We hadn’t seen her since then.

By dinner time, we made it to our friend’s (Heath and Jenn Hale) house. They were both went through residence during our time in Harlingen. It was fun to catch up with them and meet their first baby.

Visting friends...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

driving to….HOUSTON

Saturday, September 12, 2009

We’ve begun our marathon road trip! This morning we woke our kids up early, threw them in our loaded down car, drove through Shipley’s doughnuts and headed to Houston. Our first stop along the way was in Huntsville to see the giant San Houston statue (67ft tall). Next, we stopped at the San Jacinto battle field monument where Texans gained their independence from Mexico and we saw the Battleship Texas.

We spent the afternoon (and could have stayed longer) at the Lyndon B Johnson Space Center in Houston. There were so many hands-on activities for the kids and I think they learned a few things too!

That evening we stayed with Kindra, David and their three precious daughters. When I was in 7th grade Kindra, a nurse, came to my house and showed my family slides of her year-long mission trip to Mozambique, Africa. It was then that I told my parents, “I want to be just like her – a nurse and a missionary.”

Space cadets

One small step...

Ginny with her friends


In Fredricksburg we saw 3 million Mexican Free Tail bats emerge from an old railroad tunnel (the first RR in Texas which went from San Antonio to Fredricksburg). It was really awesome.

We also went to the Chester Nimitz (a fleet admiral during WWII) museum. Talk about a great history lesson! Here is what Ryan wrote to my dad (a WWII vet) about the trip:

Dear Opa,

Yesterday I went to the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas. This interesting museum had a lot of displays about World War II. I even got to learn about a Fleet Admiral named Chester Nimitz. We went on a tour about the types of vehicles and equipment used during the war including a PT boat, a Duck, a tank, cannon and tent. We saw a memorial honoring the people that had fought under Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, plus the ten presidents that either fought in the war or were in administration at the time.

I learned lots of different things. A ship’s propeller can weigh up to 28,000 pounds. Our tour guide, a World War II veteran, told us that airplanes were painted different colors to tell which branch of service they’re in. I saw the type of airplane George H W Bush flew on when he was shot down. I also saw the type of PT boat that JF Kennedy was on and hit during the war. There was a real torpedo and a spot light that would shine up to 2 miles. A pup tent has two identical parts that can be snapped together to make a whole tent so at night you had to find another man and create your tent in order to sleep.

There is a lot to see in that museum; maybe we can go together sometime.


Thursday, September 10, 2009


Thursday, September 10, 2009

We have had a blessed time in Harlingen being loved on by our friends! We have had several opportunities to share about Paraguay during small group meetings, over dessert with medical residents, lunch and dinner dates with friends, and from the church pulpit. Jeff had the privilege of speaking at the church (both services) that has supported us for the past 4 years. He shared at a seminary in Mexico (He was really nervous about speaking in Spanish because the past 4 years we’ve been speaking Spanish/Guarani mixed) as well as at the Family Practice Residency.

On the way back to Belton, we were able to stay with two families along the way in Boerne (college friends) and Fredericksburg (from residency days). Plus, we spent one night in Comfort at a B&B which was wonderful.

We have been so encouraged by our Christian brothers and sisters (the body of Christ)

Yes, Jeff is on a pogo stick

We feel a bit like David in I Chronicles 17:16 (David’s Prayer just after the Lord has revealed to him that He would always have a descendent on the throne and that David’s son would build the temple of the Lord) – “Who am I, O Lord, and what is my family that you have brought me this far?” In the past 4 years god has brought us so far. He not only brought us far physically - 5000 miles, but he has brought us far spiritually. We are absolutely astounded that He has chosen to use us – broken vessels – to accomplish his purpose. He has allowed us to see the harvest and to know his awesome faithfulness.

Matthew 9:35 - “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowd he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd.” We hear a lot about teach and preach ministries around the world. We tend to elevate physicians who can go to a foreign country and heal the sick. We forget that Jesus also had a ministry of compassion. That is something we all can do.

Evangelism is not an option. It is not a spiritual gift or something we have or don’t have. It is the privilege of every believer to share the Good News. Jeff McKissick


It has been so hot here and we have been blessed to be able to go swimming....I couldn't resist posting these too cute pictures.

Ginny and Grace

Ryan and Madelynn

Ginny and Maisey

Joshua and Kaleb

Ginny and Jenna

Ryan and Soren

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Joshua’s tooth has been on the verge of falling out for a week now. I got tired of seeing it hanging vertically out of his mouth that I insisted Jeff (I don’t do teeth) pull it out. Jeff grabbed the tooth and yanked it out. Joshua then proceeded to scream for the next 5 minutes. Once he calmed down we asked, “Did it really hurt that much?” Joshua replied, “No. But it has always been my favorite tooth and I wanted to keep it in.”

The tooth fairy visited Joshua that night. Because she didn’t have any small bills, she had to empty her change purse and put 2 dozen coins in a zip-lock under the pillow. The following morning Ryan woke up first and immediately announced his presence to me by saying, “I checked and there’s nothing under Joshua’s pillow!” About 30 minutes later Ginny woke up and entered the kitchen announcing, “I checked and there’s nothing under Joshua’s pillow!” About 15 minutes later Joshua shows up with all his change. Ryan and Ginny immediately quizzed him about where he found it. Joshua replied, “I found it in the middle of the night and held on to it so you wouldn’t steal it in the morning.”

Second tooth (and his favorite tooth) lost

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Beach Trip

I am a beach bum! I love the beach! I think it is cruel to have land-lock countries and I feel so sorry for those who live in them. Living in Paraguay (a land-locked country), I miss the sand and waves. It was great to be in Harlingen again and visit South Padre. It was especially nice because we went with some of our closest friends.

Ready to go

Tyler boogie boardin'

Micah - first time to the beach.


Pirate Joshua

Valerie and Ginny holding birds

Having fun!

Pigging out on all you can eat sea food! Table for 22, please!


Ryan: Where has dad been all day?

Mom: He’s been at the hospital taking a ACLS course to learn new medicines and treatments for saving people’s lives.

Ryan: Oh, he’s learning how to save people. That’s good. I thought he was just wasting his time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


We stayed a few nights with the Hills. Kristi was my first friend in Harlingen. We were involved in bible studies and MOPS together; we scrapbooked, took our kids to the park and McDonalds together and we braved the beach and zoo together multiple times. We even had our babies at the same time! I loved being back in her house.

At the Hill's House: Madelynn (9y), Grace (7y) and Zack (5y)

A day at the zoo:

We have picture (taken 5 years ago) on this crocodile....we've added a couple kids since then.

Pink ladies

These boys preparing for adulthood and NOT asking for directions

The goat petting zoo is always a hit