Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Last Thursday we moved up here to Schooley's Mountain, home of Liebenzell Mission USA. When we got here there was snow on the ground, and it was cold!!! One of the first things we did when we opened the door to our apartment was turn on the heat! We spent the weekend shopping for groceries and unpacking. We're going to try and get the Internet hooked up in our apartment so we don't have to wait for the offices to open up. This way, too, we'll be able to stay in touch with you more, and especially on the weekends. Here's a separate picture of Anne and I in case you forgot what we look like, or want to know what we look like today. We took the pictures at lunchtime today, so there was no one around to take a picture of us together.

I Can Drive!

This picture is suppose to prove that I am now able to drive! My new SynergEyes contact lens works great, feels comfortable, and now I can drive! An earlier post said that the first thing I was going to do after being cleared to drive was to go fast. When I called my mom to tell her I could drive, she reminded me of that and asked if indeed, I drove fast. Well, not yet! But you can believe I will when I get on a good road!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

With Our Guam Family

After a few days, we drove down (you know what I mean, Anne drove, I rode!) to Winston Salem, North Carolina, where we spent a few days with some good friends, and celebrate Christmas with our Filipino family, the Talatos. Some of you know Sonia, who use to work at PIBC before moving to NC. Then her brother, Ed, with his wife Lorna, and daughters Tiffany and Krystal, and their mom, moved to NC. Then this Christmas, Sonia's sister, Sollie, and her husband Frank, flew in from Guam, where we all joined in on some good food, lots of laughter and crazy moments together.
I'm the one in the middle with the orange shirt and glasses. Yes, the eye doctor prescribed glasses for me, even though the left side is only regular glass with no power. They are for when I get tired of looking through my one eye with the contact lens, and want to try looking with one eye through glasses.
The only one's missing from the picture were Anne and Lorna, who were caught in the kitchen preparing some snacks and food.

Christmas with the Family

So one of the things we did over Christmas was to visit with our families. After spending a couple of days with Anne's family in the Washington, D.C. area, we drove (Anne drove, Steve rode) to my mom's house about three hours away near Lynchburg, Virginia. If we didn't tell you before, maybe it's time to let you know that our son, Jason, and his wife Kristy and their daughter Kelsey, moved to the Sates in September also. They came up to my mom's house where we enjoyed each other's company for a few hours...

...and got to play with Kelsey some!

I know, I know. Too much cuteness! It's hereditary!

My brother, Sam, and his wife Nancy and their two adopted children, drove up from Nashville, Tennessee, and were also there. Here are Rebekah, my Chinese neice, and Samuel, my Chinese nephew.

An Electrifying Visit

We got an electrifying visit from the watt-man. One of our fellow Liebenzell missionaries, Rob Watt, has been on a mini-furlogh in Pennsylvania for the last seven months. Because his last name is 'Watt,' he gets a lot of puns made about his last name, most of them bad ones, like mine just now. But it's fun to try. He teaches at and runs the PIBC Remote Teaching Facility (what we call our extension campuses) in Palau. He was living only about an hour away from us in Delaware, so he came by for a visit a few days before Christmas. He was heading back to Micronesia on January 1. I actually teared-up a little because he was getting to go back to Micronesia, and we have to wait for a while.
I think my hair style is the thing that's electrifying about this picture. I haven't had my hair cut since I left Guam.

Friends From Guam

Long-time Guam friends, Graham and Joan Rogers, invited us to visit them for a weekend in northern Pennsylvania. It was great being with friends who knew Guam. We re-lived Guam memories and compared experiences about living in the States.

So guess what happened after we got there? Yep - snowed again. But this time it was really cold. So we forced Graham to let us help help him shovel the driveway.
We really did have to force him because he was training to run in the Boston marathon in a couple of months and needed the workout. So we helped a little, then we let him do most of the work.

More Waiting Activities

OK, so we apologize for writing about leaves falling off trees. Did we tell you it snowed again?It's really been exciting to take breaks from working on my book and go walking in the woods, especially when it snows. It makes me feel strong!

One of the things I like about walking in the woods on a snowing day is shaking small tress which are filled with snow on their branches, and timing it just right so that Anne, who walks behind me, gets covered with the falling snow just as she walks under the tree. If I time it just right, she gets covered and I don't! Don't worry. I'm not mean! She likes it! Actually, I shake the trees to make the snow fall on me too.

Waiting Isn't So Exciting

Since it's not really exciting writing about waiting for the doctors to decide what to do about Steve's eye, we write about leaves falling off trees, or better yet, we'll tell you instead about raking leaves that have fallen off trees. One of the things Anne has been doing while Steve has been writing is raking leaves. Because the place where we stay is kind of in the suburbs of Newark, you can't just leave the leaves laying around. So she and the other Anne rake the leaves and carry them back behind the house and dump them in the woods. Yeah, so since reading about raking leaves isn't that exciting either, we'll give you a picture of this activity instead.

Writing a Book Proposal

One of the things Steve has been doing is working on some of his assignments for his Master's Degree. One course required him to write a book proposal. He's been working long and hard on this one - a couple thousand hours at least. We could show you a picture of him writing, or maybe a picture of his paper, but we thought that would be kind of boring. So we'll let him tell you a little bit about it.

Steve states, "Well, the assignment was to write a proposal to a major publishing company for a book about Micronesia. But I had to stay within the limits of the assignment for the course. The title of the course was 'Human and Organizational Development.' The book had to have a minimum of fifteen chapters. I ended up writing a 44 page proposal for a book I'd like to write someday called, Human and Organization Development Principles in Micronesia: A Blueprint for Change. The things I learned were fascinating. I can't wait to get back to Micronesia to put this knowledge into action at PIBC."

Oh, by the way - he got an "A" on the proposal!

Not Trapped Any More!

OK, so by now you have figured out that we are not trapped on Schooley's Mountain anymore. We actually stayed a couple of days longer than we had planned, but it was totally OK. Since getting back to our base in Delaware, we've been involved in several activities while waiting for the eye doctors to decide how to best fit Steve's eye with a contact lens. One of the cool things that happened was a surprise visit from our daughter, Amy. She was asked by some of our good friends, the Owens family in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, to come out for a visit. Here is Amy and one of the Owens' daughters, Bethany. We met them kind of halfway between Delaware and Elizabeth City, at a place in Virginia called the Peaks of Otter. It was very nice to spend some time with Amy. She and her husband, Matt, live in Sacramento, California. He's a youth pastor in a church there.