Today is 3/29/2009.  I sat in church this morning and the last song in the set was Blessed Be Your Name.  We don’t sing this song a great deal at our church, I can recall that we have sung it exactly 2 other times since Sunday, August 24, 2008.

Now before you go thinking I have a photographic memory, far from it and quite the opposite.

August 24th was 2 days after we had found out that we would miscarry our baby, and I was sitting in church, next to my dear pregnant friend Eve, when this song came on.

I admit, I had to sing the song through gritted teeth.  It did not easily come from my heart, but at the time, I knew that God was talking to me through it.

Today was the day that baby was to be born.  And, we sung this song in church.  I did not immediately connect that today was the actual due date of that dear baby, but I was taken immediately back to the way I felt 7 months ago when I heard that song.

My experience singing this song today was so different.

Less bitter, more thankful….still wishful  for what might have been and for what could be.  

God as always is so present in my day and speaks to me in such wonderful ways, even when I am not ready to hear it.

Blessed Be Your Name  by Matt Redman

Blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name
And blessed be Your name when Im found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name

Every blessing You pour out Ill turn back to praise
And when the darkness closes in Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name when the suns shining down on me
When the worlds all as it should be
Blessed be Your name
And blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering
Though theres pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name






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Well, not sold, sold….but we have sold someone on how cute our house is…and have found a renter!

What a blessing to find a responsible, credit worthy, tenant worthy person in under a week!

What a blessing too to have wonderful friends who have stepped up to help us with our home while we are in Africa.

Shout out to the Stoughtons (Andy loves to mow lawns like me), Steve Varblow (’cause he knows houses and how to maintain them–even repair unexpected disasters), and the Prins’s for their legal expertise and knowing how to talk me out of a panic!

Phew…Now on to the rest of the list!

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Laser me….or not.

Well, I went to my consultation visit with Will Vision and Laser Centers.  The appointment took 2 hours!

They did the basic eye exams, as well as checked eye pressure, and took an ultrasound scan of my eye to get it’s individual fingerprint and to map the corneal surface.  Amazing technology.

He must be doing pretty well.  Dr. Will that is.  His offices just kept going, and going, and going.  The waiting room looked like something from Southern Living magazine or this:

But not quite as homey, and more commercial.  All of that said about his offices to get to the point of:  The boy is not hurting for income or clients, and probably won’t miss me…..or more importantly, my money.

So, I’m not totally sold on getting the Lasik done now.  Here’s why.

Your eyes can be dry for months, especially for the farsighted surgery (which my bad eye is)……probably NOT ideal in dusty Kenya.

Your surgery may not take the first time, and you must wait 3 months to get the touch-up surgery, but have to get it done before a year….again, hard to do from KENYA.

In the slight case that your eye becomes infected, you would need to take steroids and be seen by Dr. Will.   Again, think he’ll fly over to Africa for the consultation?

Ok, so…I think my second best option is to wait and get the surgery when we get back from Africa….and

Go pick out a rockin’ pair of back-up glasses, and perhaps a sweet pair of prescription sunglasses for that matter.

Hah!!!  While searching on google images for a sweet sunglasses picture, look what I came across:

I might need this too!!!  What a hoot!

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Laser me!

Today I have my consultation appointment with Will Vision and Laser Centers to have Lasik surgery done:

I’ve needed vision correction since junior high school or perhaps it was high school.  For the longest time I just didn’t wear glasses because I didn’t like how they looked, but my vision has gotten bad enough that I really do need them.   I tried contacts for awhile.  But wasn’t good about changing my lenses, so I got an eye infection that looked like this:

My vision is like 20/300 and 20/40.  So there’s a pretty big discrepancy between my two eyes that don’t work together without glasses.  I have no depth perception without correction and my overall vision is quite blurry, so the thought of loosing my glasses in Africa, or being without for a while isn’t appealing.

Thus….”Will Vision and Laser Centers, see the difference!”  Can you hear the jingle in your head?  Or is it “feel the difference”?  I can’t remember.  I’ll know in a few hours.

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We’re getting into prep mode for leaving the country in hopefully a little over a months time.  There are so many things to wrap up and take care of.  Here is a sampling from our to do list:

1)  Find property manager & renter for house

2)  Pack up entire house & store

3) Get final immunizations.  We have already gotten:  Yellow fever, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio, Meningococcal, Hep A, Hep B, Varicella, and will soon start taking malaria medication.  Phew!  Poor Eli & Lucy.  We have to do regular shots plus some of these extras, so it hasn’t been fun, but I’ve been sure to spread them out a bit.

4) Change bank accounts to a bank that has international affiliates.

5)  Get international health insurance, plus evacuation insurance.  You want to be able to be flown to another country if they can’t handle your medical emergency in country….and also get out quick in case of chaos.

6) Get international drivers license.  AAA offers this service, pretty neat huh?

Anyhow, that is just a sampling of the things I will be working on during my spring “break”.  It’s a good thing that I’m a good list maker and Ian is a good list doer.

Also, we have friends that we have known for gosh, close to 10 years now, that take pictures of our kids and family.  They’re going to squeeze in a family session for us tomorrow.  Here is one of my favorite pictures from over the years:

Eli, 3 years

Eli, 3 years

This is how he changed in 2 1/2 years (we were absolutely in love with his rolls and chubbiness):


Eli 6 months

Eli 6 months

 I simply can’t believe how fast it goes.  He is just shy of turning 4 years old, and is becoming such a little boy. 

I’ll post new pictures from our wonderful Kuns shoot when they are available, and I’ll keep you all posted on our progress!

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This is a note I wrote today, so I wouldn’t forget how it happened:

It’s about 10:15 on Tuesday, March 10th.  Ian just called to tell me to check his email.  I knew what that meant without even looking.


It is true.  Our work permits have come through.  I looked at the time on Armida’s email telling us we could go (Armida is our Kenyan Salvation Army contact and I think pretty much our boss?): 11:29pm Monday, March 9th.   The blog I wrote last night at probably 8:30 pm had just talked about the peace Ian and I feel about going, and how the time line will be just right.


I’ve always known that God has a sense of humor.  It’s like I had to publically say that we trusted him, and then wham…an hour later, there is the answer.  He also has a sense of humor because we can go any day after April 7th…which happens to be my birthday.  Happy Birthday to me!


I have to admit.  I cried when I read the email.  Tears of fear.  Tears of relief.  Then the anxiety kicks in and I think, “I have too much to get done to try and be ready.”  All the little stuff that honestly I shouldn’t give a worry about.  Honestly, I thought, “what about all the food!  What will I do with that!”  Really?  That’s what I’m saying to myself right now.  REALLY?  NOT something worth worrying about….the food?


I can claim so many promises.  I am so much more precious than the sparrow that is completely provided for.  All of my cares can be cast on Him.


This morning for the first time Lucy asked me if we were going to Africa.  She wanted to know if she could take her hair barrettes.  She went and found a couple of plastic grocery bags, loaded them with barrettes and strawberry shortcakes, and went with them to the door, saying, “Ok, ready for Africa”.   When Ian and I talked on the phone, I told him about it, he said, “See, she knew!”  


I can’t tell you how many times things like this happen in our lives!  A month or two ago, Eli told me that when we come back from Africa we’ll live in Denise’s house and someone with a cat will live in our house.  I think he’s quite a perceptive boy, but not enough to remember that almost a year ago we had talked with Denise (our immediate neighbor) about buying her home, and the she changed her mind.  Now that I think about it, that was on my birthday too!


God’s timing is TRULY amazing.  We are closing on our home refinance this week.  What a blessing to have all of that squared away before we leave.  Phew.  One less thing to take care of, or rather, to give to God to take care of.


Anyhow, there are still a lot of details to take care of, but we’ll let you know when we figure it out! 

Fourteen Falls, Thika Kenya


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Pretty much every day someone asks “Hey, any news about Kenya?” 

Generally, this is followed by an apology of sorts on their part for asking, because they assume that I get asked that a lot.  Which is true.  I do.  But I’m never bothered by it.

It is truly amazing that through it all, although there have been the occasional frustrations, neither Ian or I feel horribly discouraged.  Generally, we feel at peace about the timeline and how things have come about.   We trust that we will go when it is time, and stay for as long as we are meant to stay…whether that be a year like we anticipate, or ?

We would be expecting a baby here on March 29th if this last one had made it.  I am able to take joy in my friends close by that are having babies and not feel sorry for myself or jaded.  That is an incredible gift I have been given.  I know that God has amazing things in store for us with regards to more children.  Perhaps not in the ways I have planned and imagined. 

Ok, so maybe not Octuplets!

So, all that to say, please keep asking how it is going and how things are working.  It is such a faith journey, and we are so privileged to share it!

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I’m sitting here typing on my work laptop.  It’s really a great computer.  Quick, trustworthy, basic.  It’s now 6 years old, and I’ve never had a problem with it.

We had our home laptop for 3 1/2 years.  We loved it too.  Very little problems, except a battery that had to be replaced pretty often and it lacked a built-in camera.   One day when Ian was watching an episode of “The Heroes” it just turned off.  It’s still off, with a fried mother board.  The “geeks” said, “yep, that’s about how long they last”.  Really??

So, Ian, being the quick & responsive person that he is (I’d have to think and research for months before coming to a conclusion) went off the next day to pick us out a new laptop.  He picked this:

It’s a HP Pavillion DV4.  It pretty looking.  Sorry to say it doesn’t have much else going for it at this point.  It’s caused some friction in this house.

I want to do this to it right about now. 

I think that after being on the phone with HP IT (nice girl in India by the way) for 5 hours with 1 disconnection, Ian feels like doing this to it:

Instead, being the peaceful (perhaps dumb) people we were, we did this:



Course we are 3 days past the limit to return the computer.  And I’m not sure if our family can handle Ian sitting on the phone with India girl for another 5 hours trying to problem solve why our new super dooper computer is just a pooper.

I’ve categorized our new computer with my big flop purchase:

Yes, this was my ego car.  My ’98 Saab 9-3 Turbo.  It’s a whole ‘nother story with plenty of opportunity for “I told you so”.

We’re even.  Oh wait, mine was still a multi-thousand dollar bigger mistake.

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We traveled to Idaho to spend Christmas at my brother’s newly remodeled (read totally gutted and redone) farm house.

Here are Eli and Lucy on their way to the gate:


Then we arrived, had some yummy home-made split pea soup made by my s-i-l Kori, and hung up the stockings.  Kori looked like this pretty much the whole time we were in Idaho:








The stockings all hung with care and the mantle laden with gifts (doesn’t their place look great?):










We had a great time with my brother & Kori, my sister Cindi and her family, my mom and her boyfriend Peter, and Uncle Richard:















This is what their place looked like all blanketed in snow.  It’s quite a ways out of town, so it made for a serene scene if you were outside away from the ruckus caused by kids:








Here was the table set for Christmas dinner:


Katie (not sure if I’m spelling it right), Andy & Kori’s dog wanting to get in on some of the action:









We had a great time!!  We can’t wait to go again!


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