Sunday, October 28, 2007

it's fall and many things are changing

so because i miss the fall colors...i am going to change the colors on the blog...maybe according to season so that i have it in my own head of the time passing! and it's not so HOT everywhere in the world! we just had friends stop by...they have 4 kids...8, 5, and twin 3 years olds...great fun! we are so glad they are here...cuz gavin has found his BEST FRIEND...i need to get a picture of the two of them. he is homeschooled for this year but next year he will join gavin in 1st grade. but today all the kids had our dress up clothes out and it was fun to see so many happy faces parading around...this weekend has been harder...gavin is really missing "normal home" and so that gives us heartache as well...but he has many high points in his his BF, his name is Prade, and right now they are riding their skitters down a pretty nice hill and all the neighbors love to watch this...but this is what he and paul are getting a little tired of...being watched...but give this a week and i am sure he will have another change of heart...he has been out of school for a week cuz they had a that doesn't help him any right now. just letting you know that our little Gavin is growing and processing this whole world too and it's just not easy...

tonight we will go to our first neighborhood meeting. it's actually for all the christians in our local neighborhood. it will be good to meet all these new people. the custom is that it starts at 6pm...but things won't get going until about 7:30 or 8...we will have to try all the food and we will be the "guests of honor" because we are new and they will make sure we have a place to sit and food in hand and drinks to wash it all down with. the kids get to be honest and "not like the food" cuz their faces really give it away (we have already been in some neighbors houses where hazel has tried a cookie and didn't they just put it back in the cookie jar...and everyone laughs when the kids faces turn sour) whereas we have to pretend we love it...and some of it...we really do like but there are some parts we would rather leave...but can't. times are interesting and we are learning so much about so many things that our heads spin and it's hard to get just one thing right...but we know we have a Father who sees us and we are confident that each day will bring some progress...if only in one area...

pretty butterflies

not everything here is squirmy and scary! i hope i haven't intimidated anyone to NOT's just that all these living things are so cool and different!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

"If you can't convince them, confuse them." - H. Truman

this is the quote they have in the KFC. it's in big gold letters right above the hand washing station. you can't miss it. we wonder, "are they talking about the chicken?" ..."is it really chicken?" or "is this just the way of indonesia and harry truman knew it as well?" we seem to understand that as a whole...indonesians like to be vague so that they do not get into trouble with anyone and they can always make their answer so YOU like it... and so YOU do not get offended... hmmmm...this is something to think about....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

scorpion our's really a 50 cent piece??? but it can move fast and furious...and all is well...we killed it's gone...

future muralists

yes...we let them paint on the walls of their walk in closet...playroom...and we aren't done so i don't know how it will stay but they loved "being like mom and dad"...

our neighbors house to the right

we have taken interest in this whole family...seems to get bigger every time we talk with them and we aren't quite sure how everyone is related yet or exactly where everyone is living but they are so helpful in helping us learn our new language...i am grateful for them and will get pictures soon too i hope...but this is their house...dirt floors and all...but some very happy and unstressed people who love to have time at night to sit and talk to one another...

kids playing

i am not even sure of the names yet...but cute as can be huh? hazel really likes sitting with the girls and enjoying being a girl with them...she has also recently gotten into carying her baby around so they all like taking turns with the baby care....

the preschool across the street

this is why we have so many kids over...cuz gavin and paul and hazel will go over and play and when they all get bored over there...gavin invites them to play at his house...and our toys are different and new to the we have quite the parties...and it's fun to see our kiddos running with the whole neighborhood up and down the streets...other moms ask me..."do you care that they are dirty?" "do you care that they are playing at your house?" and i say no no no...and they say " need a bigger house then!"

yep...forgot to wait again for the motorcycle shot

yep...they ride too

it's a scary thing here...but sometimes necessary that we have had to put the kids on the bikes...
with and without helmets...i know my heart hurts yet to do this...i don't like motorcycles in the first place...more to pr for!

the internet is slow and i have a hard time waiting

so here is the jungle :D

the view looking our our front door

we do have a little jungle! but not as lush...


indonesia is proving to be hot! maybe not as hot as our home in LA as it sounds like you guys are on fire...we are so sorry to hear this! we will continue to lift you up...let us know more if you have personal situations...

language study is more difficult than we thought it would be. i can't believe how dumb we feel each and every day. but at least we both tend to get the giggles (so far) as to how dumb we are sounding. a lot of people have said they just sat and cried and cried this first keep thinking encouraging thoughts for us! we find that it is easier to talk with our neighbors than with our teacher...cuz then we don't have to be soooo proper! and the village people do not use proper indonesian...they are more laid back as well. our little community is very curious about us. there are about 20 kids who keep coming over wanting to play all the time and it's good fun but a little overwhelming at times. we try talking to them and they just stare at us. but the boy's are learning how to tell them their names...that they can play "later" to greet people for different times of the day and how to say thank you...they like being able to make people laugh at this! even hazel has some javanese words down...which is another sub-language off of indonesian that our village speaks..."mongo-mongo" means hello and goodbye in javanese

the days are also more frustrating than i thought too...we have big ups and big downs...but that is life! we were in chapel for indo class and the man was talking the whole time in indonesian. i was frustrated cuz i wanted to hear something that i could get and take with me...and all of a sudden he says in English, "God sees you!" oh thank you! i needed to hear that! and then a little later he says, "don't happy...God is taking care of you!" and it's those little words that got me through class that day! and still today i am encouraged that He cares enough to look at me and help me...we are blessed in many many ways and i am confident of His power.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

moving day...last time...i hope

we successfully moved yesterday! hooray hooray! paul told a friend who came by to visit "this is our home...and we get to stay here a LONG time! and you don't have to live with us!" i don't know exactly what the last part was about but i think he is excited to have a place of his own! yeah! praise God! we are happy to be unpacking...even though we don't have anywhere to put most of it yet :D can you believe we have every piece of luggage and so far nothing broken or ruined! no shampoo spillage even!

little by little...that is the term that is used here...cuz it really is...little by little...and slow by slow.
patience is not my virtue! but we will find things soon enough and all is well!

so much to say about many little things but not too much at all! just learning the ropes again. we found a wasps nest...they tell us they don't we are suppose to leave it? it's huge! we have teacher conferences for gavin tomorrow...we also start language school tomorrow! i am not feeling like i am ready for many people have told me how hard it is...yidda! my brain is still much to do and so much time it takes to do it here...we are needing prayer for peaceful rest and sleep and endurance for the days.

i'll send out more pictures soon...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

our kitchen

this is pretty empty without all the furnishings but this is what i thought you might like to see...our floors are all tile...walls all cement...nice windows with screens....screens are a big deal here! and no running water yet! and no hot water...only in the bathroom...but we will be glad to have that for a shower...the house we are in does not have hot water so it's only cold showers so far!

the back yard

this is going to be fun. lots of potential and soooo big! we have a lot of banana trees back here now and lots of dirt...rainy season is going to start very soon so it will be a big mud puddle but we really like the bamboo fencing!

one view of our street

this is looking one way on our street.

our new house!

here it is. the outside still needs a lot done but it's going to be a great little place for us!

Ibu Joseph

pronounced E-Boo Yoosuf.
this is our helper and she is fun. we have a good relationship. this is taken from the front porch at our new house! she is there cleaning for our move tomorrow! yeah!

kids swinging

in our temporary house we have a swingset. both gavin and paul have had black eyes from the heavy boards and metal on the swings...but they love to get cooled off by the air running through their hair!


here they are...some where helmets...most don't...they ride like they own the rode and the driving here if very complicated cuz you can't expect anyone to follow the rules of the's all a school of fish moving along and people fitting in best where they can. i took this at a stop sign from inside a car. paul loves pulling up to all the motorcycles

praying mantis

yes...look at our toothbrushes...this little guy has been with us from the beginning...just hangs out around our toothbrushes and eats the ants that come to eat the leftover toothpaste...kind of weird to leave a bug but i figure he is helping us out! :D

basketball court

the school has added a lot and this is one feature!

the school

this is the school eating area. kids bring lunches from home or a delivery man brings them some hot rice or sate you are also looking at the doors to the elementary...where gavin is in school! it is still weird to think!

the kids

right now gavin is in school. paul and hazel are playing at a friends house for 2 hours this morning. i think you can see they are happy!


pronounced bay-chuck. this is what we hire a man to pedal us if we are downtown. i don't know that we could all go on one. we have not yet done this with the kiddos :D

save your fruit

because fruit trees are all over can pick your fruit as you go...if you do not want people to take your bag it like this so everyone knows it's been "spoken for"

guy with grass on his bike

so many things ride on these bikes...chickens just hanging by their feet...water bottles that are sleeping in their mothers arms...

gas station

although this is not what they all look like, there are some that look pretty "american"...this is one that is by our house and i thought it looks kind of cute. we walk all over the place so we are noticing all the details around us that we would maybe not see if we were driving.

big shiny bug

pretty the kids thought...just showing you more of our world

third times a charm


i think i forgot to wait for the picture to upload?

Chrissy and Hazel

sooooo cute...we miss our friends! thanks for all your "last day pics chrissy!"

Saturday, October 13, 2007

wood factory

this is where many things you can buy in the states are made. this open air factory. a lot of furniture that you might see at pier one or some of those places are made here. luvvets (did i spell that right?) furniture is made here in salatiga as well!!!

martha in the trees

just a shot to show the trees in the area are so tall!

the noisy americans

here we go for a walk in the neighborhood...we seem to be very noisy compared to everyone else around us. but people still smile and want to greet as they sit on their porches.

another house near us

this is more typical of what kind of housing is around but i am impressed with the amount of renovations i have seen. things are looking much nicer than 6 years ago too!

women walking

during this time of year, it is customary to visit your family and neighbors and free up any sins you have from the year with them. people have family coming from all over. kind of like christmas.

ankota and motorcycles

this is our form of transportation for the most part here. this little blue bus will take us many different places for about 20 cents a ride. kids sometimes count but mostly ride for free. the motorcycle you see nearly always has at least two people riding...if not 3...4...even 5 we saw today but it was barely moving! seems to be a whole lot more motorcycles on the road these days than 6 years ago!

the jungle!

here is a shot of what we look at from our house. the jungle! the boys are amazed at this. at our new house we will not have it like this so i am happy they get to be right by one for the time being. they talk of all sorts of things being inside and how they have to wear their boots to the snakes don't bite their ankles! and the gorillas...elephants...and tigers that live in there have great stories...we have only seen one yellow lizard come out.

our temporary house

here she is! this is where we have our suitcases sitting and waiting to be unpacked! this is where we lay our heads at night. it's a nice house and we are very grateful for it. we also love our pimbantu. (helper) i will have to get a picture this week. it is the end of eid al-fitre here this weekend so it's big holiday for the country. lots of parties and parades and mosques going off all night and fire works in the streets. people are awake all night and sleep all day.


hazel hazel hazel! she is doing well here just like all of us. you can see paul is protecting his cards because she is bothering him. she is bothering the brothers A LOT lately. i can remember this outfit she has on smelled like mold cuz all our clothes are being handwashed and hung out to dry and it takes like two days to dry. stinky! so we are hoping to buy a dryer when we move to our new place :D! she really like meeting all the new people and so it's fun to take her around as she meets everyone for us!

paul---our super kid

if only we had enough outfits for paul to be batman (as he thinks the iowa bird on his teeshirt is batman) or superman or spiderman and recently added to list "speedy man" :D he wants to wear his batman outfit all the time and it's ssooooo hot here that he is dripping with sweat...but he prefers that to anything else! life is good with paul...he really loves this place and is getting into all of this that we are doing. maybe he is still in the honeymoon stage but i don't see him "not" liking anything so far!

gavin---all grown up!

here is our sweet sweet gavin ready for his first day of kindergarten. it was a long wait for him as he woke up at 5am! and hazel didn't want to see him go. he likes to ride in the ankota (which is a little blue bus for public transport) and so we ride that every morning. he really likes his teacher and the class of boys and one girl seems very nice. not as rowdy as one might think :D

squat pot

here is paul trying out the squat pot for the first time. he prefers this new way of going to the potty over a plain old toilet :D this is our shower in our temporary house. and i can not figure out how to change the rotation on these here it is and i am sorry about the kinked neck you will have later!!!!


hazel took this shot of our hotel in bali. seems she was the only one who actually got the camera out of the bag the whole time we were there!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

on the other side

hey friends and family!
we really did make it and this really is the first i have been able to access internet! things are just a little slower than we remembered here :D but life is good. we made the 26 hour flights with virtually no problems! dramamine really works for our kids :D the 14 hour flight was actually the easiest! we arrived in bali an hour later than we expected so our ride was not there so we had to scramble to get 3 drivers to drive us and all our belongings to our hotel. but greg did an awesome job of remembering his indonesian and got a good price for it all. i asked gavin what he thought of indonesia as we were standing there and he said, "this isn't the looks like california!" so he was a little bummed that he had to wait to see more jungle. (and now it's right across the street!!! here in salatiga) we had two days in bali at a great hotel right on the beach so the kids lived it up between the ocean water and the hotel pool. we slept at weird hours and ate weird food. a milk shake really is shaken milk. gavin once fell asleep at a resturant and the waitress made a bed out of chairs for him and used a tablecloth to cover him...and then we had to carry the sleeping child all the way home...he was OUT! seems everyone loves our kids though...we get a lot of pictures and video cameras in our faces...kind of funny...the kids also love that they don't have to be in car seats here and they wave out the windows saying "ha-low" at everyone and everyone waves's so funny!
we arrived in yojakarta on saturday and got to eat at A&W in the new mall. i was impressed with all the new things they had...something even like a wall mart???? and so many different things as well but so much has come into the country since we left 6 years ago...then we made a 2 hour trip to salatiga and found that our house was not done yet to move into. a bummer...but we are in a nice temporary place for maybe a week or so???? indonesian time is harder to predict exactly when it will be done. but we will get pictures and what not soon...we are just happy to let you know we are actually here. salatiga has changed soooo much. the school is impressive. new buildings and upgrades. many people remember us as we walk around town and the school and it's so much fun to see old faces again. they say that greg looks the same but martha is bigger...they have no boundaries about talking about weight and they think it's a compliment to say this but's not a compliment to me :D so maybe this will be incentive to actually work out and get off this baby weight :D we are walking everywhere so that helps!
what else...mari! she is great...she fits in so well and she is so service minded and just a tangible example of God helping us here...she looks out for all of us and makes life easier for sure!
gavin started school yesterday and loves it...we all woke up at 4:30am so waiting until 7:20 to go to school seemed to last forever but he made it and couldn't wait to get back today. we in turn have been running around trying to get our "needs" from stores and what not...they don't have stores that have everything you have to go to many stores so things just take longer but i really like that about this culture...but right now...i wish it was easier because we dno't have a car and such...
it's super hot...even the locals say it is...and needs to rain then it will cool down. it hasn't rained in 7 weeks. the custom is to take at least 2 showers a day...the kids like that...and they enjoy the squat pots. i have a good picture to show in the future of that!
the kids seem to really like it here so far. everything is new and fun and exciting with lizards all over our home and huge bugs...but we have only seen one spider so far so i am excited about that! the kids actually pulled a tail off a lizard the other day...lots of screaming! but the tails grow back...we just heard of the glass lizard and when it's tail is pulled off it breaks into many many pieces (like glass) and all the pieces keep moving to distract the prey and it scurries away...we hope we don't run into that one....yidda!
we are having fun catching up with old friends...every night we go to a different house and hang out...good times but we are tired about 4 or 5...we are trying to adjust to the time but it's harder than i remembered! maybe cuz we have kids????
all in all we are doing well...can't wait to be out of our suitcases (they all arrived with us and that is a huge praise in itself!) and that might be a little stressful at times but we are here and that is can ask for healing in Gavin's ear. he got swimmers ear in bali and it is just now starting to get a little better. poor guy. but all the kids are doing great....know that this feels like home and we can't for you all to visit...anytime! we have an extra room even! :D
love and love
we will send out pictures soon i hope!