Friday, October 30, 2009


October 30, 2009

My kids don’t need an excuse to dress-up and have fun. At home in Paraguay they have so much fun with their friends digging through their costumes. Thanks to a fun loving Grandma, they now have a big box of costumes they can dig through here too.


October 29, 2009

Instead of a blackbird on her arm, Ginny had one on her cheek

Every superhero needs his symbol on his cheek

Monday, October 26, 2009


Sunday, October 19, 2009

Saturday morning Carol (Jeff’s mom), Ginny and I headed to Abilene for our alma mater’s homecoming. It was Carol’s 40th reunion year and my 10th reunion year. At 9:30 we watched the parade and Ginny filled her pockets with candy. Next we went to chapel and then lunch. In the afternoon we cheered for the Wildcats at the football game and in the evening we had a class dinner. We had 180 come back! It was fun to reconnect. I received two door prizes – one for traveling the farthest to attend and for having the most kids!

At the parade

At the football game


Friday, September 16, 2009

About 6:00 we arrived back in Belton after
53 days
8, 00 miles
18 states
31 friends put us up for the night

We had a wonderful trip. The kids are already excited about doing this again in 4 years...we'll see....

Friday, October 23, 2009


Friday, October 17, 2009

Thursday night we spent in Louisiana with one of my best friends from high school.

Friday we headed to Texas! We stopped in Longview in order to take my brother to lunch – he is a freshman at Le Tourneau University.


October 15, 2009

After a 10 hour drive Tuesday we arrived in Jonesboro, Arkansas. We knew the Carusos because 4 years ago they came down to Paraguay to teach the kids during our annual Spiritual Life Conference. Tuesday evening they hosted a small group meeting for us to share about our ministry. Wednesday we took the kids to the firehouse for a tour.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday we drove to Illinois and spent a night with friends we knew in Harlingen. They have added two boys to their family.

Monday we drove to Wheaton to visit a missionary family who is also on furlough. The Hawthornes are missionaries in Bolivia and in 2004 we stayed a month with them in their small rural village. We were also able to visit with the Knudson’s who we also met on that trip. Monday afternoon we went to downtown Chicago and rode up (on the fastest elevator in the world) the Willis (Sears) Tower. There’s a 5 foot wide SkyDeck (widows on all 5 sides) that sticks out of the tower and allows you to step out of the building for a breath-taking, heart-stopping view straight down! I was surprised that Micah would even get close to it because he sometimes gets scared crossing bridges when he can look down and see the water. He loved laying belly-down on the floor and looking down!


Sunday, October 10, 2009

We are in Indiana visiting friends. We knew John in college and he then he and Jeff roomed together in Lubbock during Jeff’s first year of med school and John’s first year of law school. It has been about 9 years since we’ve seen him. He is now married and has a beautiful 6 month baby girl.

Tyler celebrated his birthday in Indiana. I am convinced that nothing says “Welcome to America” like a trip to Chuck E Cheese. My kids do not remember ever going to anything like it before so this was a real treat complete with tokens, tickets pizza and prizes.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Friday, October 9, 2009

Yesterday at 5:00 we arrived at Cedarville University (Ohio) and were welcomed by our 2009 T.I.M.E* students. We ate dinner in the cafeteria with them and then Jeff spoke to about 30 pre-med Cedarville students and Wright State medical students. Jeff and I love talking with students about missions. At 8:30 we went to Melissa’s house (she organized the US side of the TIME trip) and continued to hang out, talking and laughing about Paraguay. One of the students form the 2008 group was able to join us too.

*if you don’t know what T.I.M.E (Training in Medical Evangelism) is, check out the icon in the right column of the blog toward the bottom.

Today we are heading to Indiana via McDonalds to meet a friend of Andy Bowen (our Guarani teacher in Paraguay) who is a medical student interested in medical missions in Paraguay.


Wednesday, October 8, 2009

We broke our 6 hours drive today by driving on Cocoa Ave….turning left onto Chocolate Ave…and rounding the corner to…..Chocolate World! We stopped at the Chocolate factory in Hersey, PA. The kids loved riding the carts through the factory and receiving a free chocolate sample. Yum!

What a beautiful drive through Pennsylvania with all the trees changing colors! Ginny was just amazed that trees could be yellow, pink and purple. We don’t have the privilege of seeing these dramatic signs of fall in Texas or Paraguay.

We stayed with friends from residency just outside of Pittsburgh.


Isn't our God creative?

the Nash family

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Monday (October 5) we drove to New Jersey and caught a ferry across to Ellis Island and toured the museum. A second ferry took us to the Statue of Liberty where we climbed 156 stairs (because the elevator was broken) to the top of the base (you have to reserve tickets to the crown months in advance). What a great view!

Tuesday we went from New Jersey to New York in a super cool (and fast) ferry. Even though it was very windy, we sat on the top deck and absorbed the beautiful view of the water, ships, a distant Ellis Island, and the NY skyline. Once on land we headed for the Empire State building where Micah immediately remembered the last scene (the only scene we’ve seen) from King Kong and asked no less than a million times, “Where monkey?” And then he’d answer his own question, “He falled down.” We took elevators to the first observatory deck (the 86th floor) and tried to name as many building as we could. The kids favorite thing (and possibly mine too) was taking a SkyTour of NY (a virtual helicopter ride narrated by Kevin Bacon). It was so fun! With our seats moving and shaking and the big screen flashing NY scenes, it totally felt like we were flying.

Next we set out to find the Balto, a dog statue in Central Park. Balto was a sled dog that, through amazing odds, carried anti-toxins to Nome, Alaska and saved the town in 1929. The very last picture in Balto: the bravest Dog (Ginny’s reader) was a picture of him in New York. Ever since then, Ginny has been asking to visit him. Coming around the corner we all spied the dog and Ginny ran up and hugged his neck. She said in her sweet full of love for all animals voice, “He looks like such a sweet dog. I wish I could have known him.” After lunch by the statue we went to Grand Central Station (the kids loved the subway…they recognized it from Madagascar), Ground 0, Times Square and walked down Wall Street.

Our walking tours are over! We’ve had so many recent days full of walking that the kids (and I have to admit me too) are tired. I think if we had done any more the kids would have staged a coup. Traveling to all these historic places has been information overload, but they have done well and marched right along with us. I am so thankful for the opportunity to see these wonderful landmarks. God has kept us healthy ,safe and has given us great weather.

We stayed with friends (the Chapmans) in New Jersey that we knew from residency. They had a hot tub that we all loved relaxing in in the evenings.

Waiting for the ferry

Going to Ellis Island

Empire State Building view

Ginny and Balto


Monday, October 5, 2009

We toured Philadelphia Saturday (October 3) and saw the Liberty Bell, The Constitution Center, Betsy Ross’ house. Ben Franklin’s house and print shop museum, and Independence Hall.

We stayed two nights with one of our TIME 2009 interns (Alyssa) and her family. We had so much. Saturday evening they planned a game night and Sunday lunch another TIME student (Dave) and his family came over.

The Liberty Bell

President Ryan...

The Laswells and the Shoens

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ryan’s desire while on home assignment was to go to an aquarium, so we went to the Baltimore Aquarium which is one of the best in the US. The favorite for all of us was the dolphin show.

Watching the dolphins swim by

Tyler looking at a dolphin

Next we drove to Annapolis where two kids (Scotlin and Mckensie) I was a nanny for in 1997, are now cadets at the Naval Academy. Between class and preparing for the parade they (and their parents who were in for the Navy vs Air Force football game) showed us around the beautiful campus. We shopped in the store (where Mr B bought the kids each a Navy souvenir) and saw the beginning of the parade where all the cadets were in their dress clothes. Such discipline!

Go Navy!

Watching the parade

With the "kids" I use to babysit

That night we drove a little farther in Maryland and stayed with the Sheard family. Dan came to Paraguay two years ago to teach us about orality (teaching non-literate people).


People always ask us, “Where are you from?” What an interesting question to ask a missionary!

Yesterday as we roamed DC, Ginny asked, “When are we going home?” “We won’t be home (referring to Jeff’s parent’s house in Belton) until the end of October,” I replied. “No,” she said, “I mean the people’s house we will be staying at tonight.”

After traveling the east coast for a month now, home to Ginny is a place where we stay one night only to pack up and move onto another house the following night. What a sweet reminder to me that this world is not my home. We too are just passing through on route to my mansion in heaven!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Well, now I know that Washington DC can be done with five kids under 9 years (no strollers)…but is it advisable? We had a blast but we walked our children to death. Over 2 ½ days we saw a lot.

Natural History Museum
Air and Space Museum
Jefferson Memorial
Top of the Washington Monument (what an amazing view!)
Lincoln Memorial
Ford’s Theater where Lincoln was assassinated (This was really cool)
Toured the Capital Building and Supreme Court
Ate street vendor hot dogs and pretzels
Walked by the White House (you can’t get close to it any more)
WWI, WWII, Vietnam War and Korean War memorial
Statue of George Mason (his ideas inspired the Virginia Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence, mentor to George Washington and T. Jefferson considered him the wisest of the age)
Signer of the Declaration of Independence Memorial
Theodore Roosevelt Memorial (where we saw a family of deer hiding in the forest)
Arlington National Cemetery (where Tyler had to walk around wearing the booster seat arm rest covers on his feet because he lost his shoes)
Mount Vernon

Our plans changed a couple times as to where we were going to stay in the DC/Virginia area. Because we have such a fun loving God, he led us to stay with a family that I had grown up with in Hawaii. I hadn’t seen the Boyds nor had any contact with the family since 6th grade! David (unfortunately his wife was in England) and his daughter took great care of us for two nights. We also stayed a night with an embassy family we knew in Paraguay and are now stationed in DC. It was fun talking about Paraguay and speaking in Guarani to their Paraguayan house-help. Another night we stayed with Jeff’s cousin and her family whom he hadn’t seen since elementary school.