Monday, July 21, 2008

Pealing Off the Pounds!

Good news to report - Todd is about 2 pounds away from the goal! He is currently at the Y running some more and has been eating smaller portions and healthy snacks. I'm so proud of him for sticking with it!

Also, we decided to purchase Rosetta Stone software so that we can get started learning Portuguese. We're going to incorporate that into our homeschooling this fall, too. I can't wait for it to arrive.

On the home front, please pray that we'll have wisdom there. We really want to go ahead and put the house on the market, but we would need a place to stay in the meantime if it does sell. Since we purchased our house at a good time, our payments are considerably less than most appartments in Clinton which would put the squeeze on the ol' budget.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Where We Are

Well, since Todd's trip to Mozambique, we've had quite a lot to process. Despite the challenges that will most definitely lie ahead for our family, we still feel God's pull on our family to go where He has called. We were able to eat dinner last night to continue our processing process with some wonderful friends of ours who served as missionaries in Africa until recently. They served in a "closed" area so, to be on the safe side, I'll leave their names out of the blog. Anyway, it always helps talking to them because they are able to shed light on something in about five seconds because they have this great framework for understanding our questions, doubts and even fears. They probably have no idea how much our dinners together have meant to us since we've begun this crazy journey.

So, before we can be officially approved on Oct. 7 there are some things we still need to do. We need to read a HUGE policy manual, send in a few more medical records for the girls, and Todd has a medical hurdle to get over. Many of you know, even though I haven't posted it, that Todd's BMI (Body Mass Index) is/was high. When we discovered this last November, he began working like a crazy person to get the weight off. In March he had lost 35 pounds and was able to send in a satisfactory weight to the agency that approves our health status for the IMB. This allowed us to go forward and attend the candidate conference in May.

Well, between March and May our family was introduced to something called Fifth Disease. (You can Google it if you would like to know more about it.) Todd suffered the most - Emma and Jessie didn't even know they had anything - and, for a while, we thought his arthritis had come back. The medicine he was given for his joint pain caused some weight gain (which is a known side effect of this particular medication) so that by the time we got to conference, he was above the qualifying BMI. The doctor in VA measured his waist and said that he thought Todd would be fine for health clearance.

After a while (It takes a little bit for the paperwork to get from the doctor's office in VA to the health agency), we got notification that Todd would need to lose the weight again. (He was probably 10 pounds over the mark.) Since he got back from Africa, he has been working on his weight, but it has been much harder for him to gain much ground. He's about halfway there. So, I have two requests. Please pray that he will be able to lose the rest of the weight quickly. Also, please pray that the health agency will be lenient in regards to the nature of the weight gain. They could possibly opt for him to have to maintain the weight loss for three months before we could move forward in the IMB process. This would mean that we would miss the Oct. 7 approval date that we've been hoping for. I know that would be so hard for Todd since he has worked so hard on this for what feels like forever!

Now, with all that said, I also know that God has the timetable for our journey all worked out - I just get a little antsy about it and really want things to work out the way we want them! So, please pray for peace and contentment for me when I get that way and lose sight of the fact that if God wants us in Moz, there is nothing that can stop His plan. I am more excited than ever about getting to go on behalf of my savior to another country where intimate knowledge of Him is scarce. It is truly what we feel we have been made to do and God seems to confirm this in our hearts, through His word and through our circumstances almost daily. Thanks so much for remembering us and praying for us!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Science Update...

Please see the post under the Africa pictures for an update on our science projects.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Pictures from Mozambique

At long last, we did find a way to upload our pics from the camera. (It took all of about 5 seconds...) Anyway, I've picked some of my favorites to post, and that took a while since I think there were between 500 and 600 to choose from! I'll try to talk him into posting here soon so he can tell his own story.

These are not in any particular order. Above is an example of a thatched roof which is the material of choice.

Above is a termite mound, pictures of which I've seen before, but somehow, it's different when you know your husband took this crazy picture.

Picture of an old church - just thought it was a really good picture. I think this is on Ilha de Mocambique, but I'm not positive.

Again, great picture he took while in Nacala.

This is the place he stayed while in Nacala (about two hours away from Nampula on the coast). So, I guess mosquito nets get folded up when you make your bed...pretty nifty.

I love this picture - the rolls are spice packets.

Another picture of a market in Nampula. Nampula is where we will live. It's the second largest city in the country with about 1/2 million people.

Dug out boats back on Ilha de Mocambique.

Another picture on Ilha - notice the folks carrying things on their heads. I wonder if I can learn that??

Granite outcroppings on the outskirts of Nampula.

I had to include the picture of the goats. We're hoping to have one/some. You can only get powdered milk so that would give us some fresh, plus I'd really love to learn to make goat cheese.

Just one of the many pictures of georgeous flowers he was able to take.

In a previous post, Todd mentioned the bicycles with charcoal piled up high - it's a little hard to see, but that's what this boy has on his bike.

More charcoal and bicycles.

Can't go to Africa without taking a picture of a baobab tree.

Since there was no order above, I thought the least I could do was finish with a great African sunset.

Weather and Things Inside Our Mouths

I actually wrote this LAST Friday, but I'm just getting around to posting it...
Emma and I have still been having fun with our science class every day. She loves learning anything about the world around her. Last week we made a weather station (thermometer, barometer, pressure gauge and rain gauge) and have been monitoring it every day. We were so glad to finally get some good wind has been very still around here; truly the dog days of summer! We also got some rain last night so we have something to report on the chart we're keeping.

This week we've been learning about bacteria and fungi. In one petri dish we are seeing how dirity our kitchen is (I may or may not report back on that one!) and seeing how antibiotic ointment works. In our second dish we are seeing whose mouth is the dirtiest, mine or Emma's; again, you may or may not find out the results. Today, we learned about yeast and are waiting for our rolls to rise. I've never made yeast rolls so really hoping they turn out edible.

Okay, and just a note: the rolls were terrible! We learned a mighty important lesson about old yeast - it doesn't work! I've got some fresh in the freezer so we're going to attempt this experiment again!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Blogging Etiquette...A Question for the Pros

Okay, when someone posts a comment to your blog, is it appropriate to post a follow-up comment, or should you send an email? I'm just not sure!


Monday, July 7, 2008

Home Safe and Sound...last Friday

Todd did make it home right on time Friday. The girls were so thrilled to see him, and so was I. He didn't get much rest that day but did get a little caught up on Sat and Sun, and I don't think going back to work today was too rough on him. As for promised pictures...the software for the new camera was left in Africa. I think we're going to take the memory card to WalMart, have a disc made and upload from there. We'll hop on it quickly because he really did get some great pics, and I haven't even seen them all.

Thanks so much for praying for him. Words cannot express how glad I was when he called from Atlanta, and I knew he was safely on our continent!

Oh, and my camera's USB cord did make a trip to Africa so I'll try to post pics of our weather station soon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Last Day

We just got to talk to Todd before the girls went down for a nap and as his last day in Mozambique was coming to an end. He gets on a plane to Johannesburg, South Africa, tomorrow and will spend the night there. On Thursday he flies direct from there to Atlanta and then home by Friday at noon. Makes me tired thinking about it.

The girls are excited because he was telling them about the gifts he's gotten for them. There are presents for me, too - I am getting two Mozambiquan (sp?) skirts which I can't pronounce or spell yet. I hope they come with tying instructions! Thanks Todd and Jan!

On another front, Emma and I have been working on science stuff this week (It was a little too much to fit into the regular school year so we're doing it now before she realizes there's such a thing as summer vacation.). Yesterday, we made a wind vane, but there has been no wind the last two days to measure - we're hoping for some by the weekend since it's supposed to rain. Today we made a thermometer and tested it out in hot and cold water. Way fun! I have pics but can't find my USB cord for the was going to TX, but I took it out of my stuff, or so I thought, when I realized I couldn't tote the computer along. Very random stuff, I know.