Monday, June 18, 2007

can you contact us? i don't know?

hey...we have had the worst month of communicating and it came at a time when we feel we really needed it most...but somehow we have survived...our phones are no good but you can leave a message and we can check the message from another phone...we can text cuz that is on our plan at least for martha's phone. but we are finding that many people are NOT getting my texts and this is frustrating as well as we try to keep in touch and nothing is working except this blog! thanks again for those who inspired us! and we have email. now as far as colorado goes???? we think there is no cell phone service up where we will be...we THINK we can get internet but we are not for our communication may become even LESS! UGH! we will update this as much as we can but please don't give up on us...we figure INDO will be better than this! :D

Ankeny, again

after greg and david (kem's husband) played a little tennis and my good great friend kem and i got to walk around my mom's backyard and talk "uninterrupted" we returned to Ankeny again on saturday to see our kindred friend, Larissa who just got back from Africa and had many stories to share. this girl is hard core and even swims in the rivers with who knows what snakes! it is so refreshing to spend time with her again and to know that even though we hadn't seen or talked for awhile...we could still encouragement all in itself! our generous friends, KJ and Kelly were gone for the weekend and they let us stay in their house and now they are back so we got to hang out some yesterday (father's day) as well and have some good talks on parenting and watched a movie and ate at Fazoli's (this great little italian place that greg and i used to eat at regularly when we lived here). it's funny to hang with our 3 older boys who are talking all the time to each other and saying all sorts of funnies. hazel is even talking more and more...she said "poopy diaper" and "KJ" and maybe we heard a "Kelly"? but life seems to be fun in this house and we love it here! tonight, monday, we are giving a presentation at their house so that will be good to connect with people we do not necessarily know. we also get to hang out with bryce this afternoon and have supper with a childhood friend who has 2 boys herself! then the kids will be babysat by kindy's parents who have full-on adopted our kids as their own grandkids while we talk at our presentation. that is our day.

we return to audubon for tuesday and wednesday. thursday we will go to a water park in Omaha for josh's (my nephews birthday) from there we are leaving for colorado springs on thursday night to drive through the night one last time! time is moving right along and soon we will be transitioning again but for a longer stay :D it will be good to not live out of suitcases. we look forward to getting some healthy outlook on life as well as prepare to go in August. this may be a little "iffy" as our last 20% is coming very slowly so please pray that we can remain peaceful about "the when" we leave and focused on "the why" we are leaving. we have been given a green light to buy our tickets but then there is hesitation as to "what date" we should aim for. grace, wisdom, humor, flexibility and creativity are at the top of our list these days for prayer.

i really have to go cuz paul needs to be "held and rocked like a baby" and one quick quote he says now cuz of Kelly is "is anyone ready to rock and roll?"

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Our Iowa "Work"

this is what we have been working least this is ONE of them...they take a couple of days to start and finish but Greg is getting much faster as he puts in the most time :D but there are about 400 of these 2' x 2' tile mosaics to be done and i think by the end of this week there will be 25 there is a long way to go! they are all birds drawn by John James Audubon...for our town "Audubon" to put in their sidewalks on the Main street...just a little snap shot of what we are up to!

Dustin's tractor team

Martha's sister Teresa and daughter Hannah

cousins, cousins, cousins

unbelieable people and stroller

LOOK WHAT WE ARE SPORTING! A STROLLER THAT HOLDS EVERYONE!!! yesterday we came home to a huge package on the front steps. it was the sit-n-stand stroller greg and i have been contemplating buying over the past bit. we couldn't ever muster up the means to get one "new" and every time we went to buy one...we just didn't do it. we had talked with our friends KJ and Kelly about our dilemma and even finding one was a bit of a struggle out here in anyway, after we left their house THEY went ahead and purchased one for us and this came as HUGE surprise and encouragement for us that we are "spoiled" by God and friends and we wanted to say a bigger thanks to them and to all of you who are supporting us in this time of "tomatoes" (as paul would say). this is a busy time for us, but we enjoy our little family so much and it's been great to connect with so many friends across the states again! God is faithful and He gives strength to the weary. THANK YOU!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

farms, weekends, cell phones

we are huge fans of farms! in the past 3 days we have visited 2 farms and man, have we gone "hog wild" :) we first went out to the johnston's farm where they are self sufficient farmers who we admire very much! they had baby turkeys that we got to hold, one baby kitty that took to hazel and let her do anything she wanted to hazel carried it around like a rag doll, they had milking cows and one bull (the leader) and we tried to have the tongue feel our hands but we were a little too jumpy for that. soon we found horses that all the kids rode bareback and only paul had the hesitation to get on...hazel nearly jumped on by herself and gavin acted like a natural! meg, the senior in high school, led the kids around and they eagerly followed for whatever she had up her sleeve to do next on this adventurous farm. this farm also had a big dog and with the wind nearly blowing us over...this night was amazing and very memorable. it's always good to catch up with old friends.

the next night we ventured only 3 blocks from grandma's house and found the gleason farm. they had a good homecooked "iowa" meal for us and then we visited all their steer (they USED to be bulls) and this was great to get right up next to them too, but the best part of this farm was they had a tractor that everyone got to ride in! gavin and paul even got to drive it and wow! now they are real farmers! grant, the little boy who lives on this farm, has a four-wheeler just their size so the boys fought over who got to ride the 4-wheeler the rest of the night. here again, great to be in good company. and visiting people with little babies is a highlight for our kids too as they seem to love all the new friends and want to "help out"

iowa is full of pollen and we are discovering we have allergies! super! even i, martha, who have never suffered my whole life, am now having the itchy eyes, stuffy nose, and sneezing. so we are all walking around acting like we have colds or something! i guess we have been away too long! this weekend we are up in northwest iowa with college friends, going to a parade, petting zoo, and fun fest...all for free! and my grandparents 85th birthdays (so that means lots of aunts and uncles and cousins), and even some old california friends will be seen! we will be away from our audubon pad for 4 days and when we are home it's a lot of cutting, gluing, grouting, with the mosaics. it is slow but pretty cool to be doing this with the old brother, clinton p.

time is going fast and 12 days we will be off for colorado springs...june's coming closer and closer and we continue to be amazed at the kids flexibility and good attitudes (for the most part :D) we have had more problems now in communication however...we got a huge bill from our cell phone company and they told me the wrong deal 2 times and then charged me for it...sooooo...what to do? we aren't quite sure but we will be texting from here on out. if you want to call us, you can do my mom's # 712.563.3128 but we hope to be getting on email again this week! sorry we can't be doing more...just know we are missing you all with smiles in mind! the fieldhouses received our passports so this is great and means we can really go to indo in august!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Gavin, Trey & Paul (Ankeny, IA)

Gavin in bubble costume (Ankeny, IA)

Hazel isn't going to sink with these (Mesa, AZ)

our faithful travelers doing a great job (Quinter, KS)

Paul in his "tomato chaser" (Salina, KS)

Too much flexibility? (Bellflower, CA)

check it out...our friends KJ and Kelly (who we are staying with for the weekend) are part of this church here in Ankeny (Prarie Ridge) and they have a global cafe in the church that supports missions and i think what they are doing is super fine and if you are interested in doing this in your area with the coffee or could! just passing this along :)...also

and we are super excited to be going to kindy's parents house tomorrow for slow cooked pork chops, corn on the cob, homestyle beans, mouth is already watering! and then they are going to watch all 3 kids while greg and i go on a "date"...what do people do on those anymore? :D we are happy to be here in ankeny...everyone is taking great care of us and we feel loved.

Friday, June 1, 2007

June 1

June 1 means that we only have 20 more days in iowa. june 1 means that clint and joni have been married for 22 years. june 1 means that we are going to ankeny to see some great friends from when we lived there for 6 months prior to California. and something special, clinton p is renewing his vows to his wife tonight in Des Moines and we get to bring in the secret flowers for the ceremony :D! i'm so glad we get to do show support to our family while we are here is big for us. i am suppose to be working on a mosaic but both clint and greg are gone so the office is pretty lonely to work all by myself!

i can say there is a lot of attack going on with our enemy in many different areas and some of it is hard to watch and some is hard to deal with and some is down right mean. i want to be able to "do" something about it but i am learning that if i can step back and pray and be centered...the time comes when HIS words get to be used INSTEAD of MINE...amazing how that happens! so i am trying to be patient and yet alert for my role.

paul does not like grandma's "grandfather" clock and asks us to turn it off...he hears it in his head and can't sleep. and he is finally understanding (i think) that he is NAMED after grandpa Paul instead of "once being" grandpa paul. every time we have told a story about my dad he would say "i did that when i was older?" but now i think he is coming around to understanding he has his name sake...and rightly so! they have so much in common already

gavin enjoyed playing tennis with all his cousins last night at the tennis court, poor greg and jacob couldn't get a game in very well with all the extra feet running around! and then MORE rain made us go home :( but we all seemed to still have smiles on our faces

hazel enjoyed meeting her baby "boy" friend, torin, and bigger "girl" friend geneva the other night and doted on both of them...especially watching and mimicking everything the 2 year old girl would do! she wants to be a lady and we pray for that as well :D

i don't know if you all know that we have been given the green light to go to indo! yeah! sooooo...i guess that means we can get our tickets for the end of august! it's a REAL DEAL...God is so faithful and amazing to us and we are completely grateful to Him and you for being apart of our team! love you...