Goodbye’s, hello’s, repeat, repeat, repeat….

Goodbye’s, hello’s, repeat, repeat, repeat….

Goodbyes… Thank you for your prayers for the three families– the Bright’s, Gough’s, and Jensen’s that left Madagascar earlier this month. The last year has been a gift in so many ways for us personally, as a field, ministry-wise and for each of the families and those they interacted with daily. Goodbyes are never easy but the sadness and tears are truly a testimony to the intensity of the life shared...

Read More

Fingerprints in the Details…. December News

Fingerprints in the Details…. December News

Home Assignment by the Numbers… As we wrap up our time in the USA we look back to all that occurred in such a short amount of time. Historically, our time in the USA has been busier than we plan, hope for or anticipate– this time was no different and we’ve come to the realization that this is our “normal” here– and as such, we simply cannot buck it or complain about it!  🙂  Our time in the States is full...

Read More

Our Happy Place…

Our Happy Place…

A couple months ago I was telling Jamie how much I would love it if he swept me away someplace as a surprise.  At that time, it was talk and I was loftily dreaming of someplace in Europe or Asia… walking the streets, exploring the culture, eating yummy cuisine, snapping pictures and enjoying each other, sans children.  I put my dream on the back burner because you know… REALITY. Last month we “celebrated” our 12-year...

Read More

Twenty Fourteen

Twenty Fourteen

Twenty Fourteen was quite the year… there was good and there was hard, there were times of joy and sadness, times of growth and steps backward.  Through it all, God has been present and He is good!  It’s good to look back through pictures and SEE that God has been present and He is good– in addition to knowing that truth deep in my heart.  So here’s a look at twenty-fourteen and the things that fed our souls during...

Read More

This little guy…

This little guy…

Last month while the Westmont team was here we celebrated this little dude’s birthday.  How can it be that my youngest baby is four already? During my pregnancy with him, I knew with all my motherly instincts that he was going to be a boy.  In fact, seven dreams during my pregnancy confirmed this.  He entered the world and our lives on a beautiful morning the day before Father’s Day in a birth pool in our bedroom.  I didn’t...

Read More

TCK love

TCK love

I’ve been thinking a lot about TCK’s lately… third culture kids.  You may or may not be familiar with that terminology or what in the world it means.  Essentially TCK’s are those kids that grow up in a culture other than their parents home culture (or first culture).  Therefore they typically don’t truly identify themselves with their parents culture but they don’t truly identify themselves with their host...

Read More

This (little) girl…

This (little) girl…

Just like her big sister did last month, this little girl celebrated a birthday last week.  6 years old.  Time seems to pass even more quickly with each year.  This little girl of ours was a whole 13 days late… and when she decided to make her appearance into the world, she did so with force and intensity… a bit like a freight train, in fact. From 6 cm to having a beautiful baby girl in my arms in less than 25 minutes… over...

Read More

Maman’i Josy

Maman’i Josy

In Madagascar, parents are known by their children… Maman’i Josy is Josy’s mom.  Sometimes Josy’s mom also goes by the name of Maman’i Dina or Maman’i Redy… or any of her other 4 children.  She’s a sweet women who has seen a lot in her nearly 80 years of life– an age well past the average life expectancy in Madagascar.  After nearly 60 years of marriage, she’s seen her children...

Read More

This girl…

This girl…

This little chick-a-dee of ours just turned 8.  How is that even possible?  I can vividly remember the excited anticipation when she was still in my womb and the moment she entered the world… our hearts and lives were forever changed and we wouldn’t have it any other way.  This girl… she’s pretty amazing.  She’s spunky and full of life, she’s a lover of animals and people.  She’s an amazing...

Read More

It’s time…

It’s time…

It’s mind-boggling to us that in less than 8 days, we’ll be on the first leg of our journey back to the USA for the fall.  It’s only been a year since we were last in the States for the main purpose of completing my midwifery license and taking my certifying board exams.  In reality, one year isn’t very long to be away from the States.  In reality, one year isn’t very long that we’ve been back in Madagascar...

Read More

A Little Taste of Paradise

A Little Taste of Paradise

The kids having been asking me to bake lately.  In fact, Gavin and Eliana both attempted to bake their own renditions of dessert yesterday… for Gavin it was chocolate pizza and for Eliana, it was chocolate cake.  Of course the measurements were all askew and Eliana was heartbroken and distraught when her cake came out of the oven still in liquid form.  I promised, “tomorrow we’ll make chocolate chip cookies!”  Squeels...

Read More

Year-End Newsletter

Year-End Newsletter

It’s that time of year again… time for families and friends to share Christmas letters and cards, photos of how the kids have changed and stories of their latest news, accomplishments and/or tribulations.  So… we decided to do the same…               Like it? Share it!SharePrintGoogleTwitterLinkedInFacebookLike this:Like...

Read More

Is it Christmas???

Is it Christmas???

It’s the afternoon of December 20th.  Christmas is 5 days away…. so technically 4 more days until Christmas. Have I done any shopping?  No. Have I sung any familiar Christmas hymns in church?  No.  Have I done any holiday baking?  No.  Have I seen any Christmas lights glittering the neighborhoods and lighted trees, dotting the streets?  Sadly, no.  The truth is, it’s haarrrrrddddddd to get into the Christmas spirit...

Read More

Unchartered Territory…

Unchartered Territory…

I have so many blog posts swirling around in my head that I may start to get dizzy.  I’m always inspired to write when I’m here but don’t always get the time to do so.  I’ve got some fun things to share, some stories to share, some people to introduce you to, and unfortunately  some sad things to share about life and so many of the injustices around us. This time though I’m going to share with you about the...

Read More

Two Worlds

Two Worlds

[singlepic id=71 w=320 h=240 float=center] From the remote fishing village of Mahabana in Madagascar to the sprawling park of Disneyland… this is our life in two worlds.     We’ve been back in the States for 3 weeks now.  It’s been a period of adjustment as we transition from our lives in Madagascar and the Philippines to our life here in Santa Barbara.  On many levels it’s been a fairly easy transition but there has also...

Read More

Back in the USA

Back in the USA

Late Tuesday night, we made it back to the USA…. the land of the free, the oversized, and the paved and clean roads. It’s nice to be “home” for some time. It’s also weird. Weird on a lot of different levels. We’re living with my folks, in the house I grew up in since I came home from the hospital as a newborn. This isn’t weird per se as we’ve done this before. What has been weird is that some things haven’t changed. For...

Read More

To Miss and Not To Miss….

To Miss and Not To Miss….

It’s been a week since we left the great Red Island of Madagascar. There are several aspects of our life that we already miss… and there are some aspects for which we’re happy to have a break from. Here’s our top few…. TO MISS… 1. Friends… We’ll all miss our Malagasy friends who are an integral part of our lives. 2. Jamie will miss his direct involvement with the  management of the large scale mangrove...

Read More

Christmas Preparations

Christmas Preparations

Christmas in Madagascar is… well, I’ll just say a little different than in the States.  It’s hot, it’s humid, there isn’t the Christmas music playing in the stores since before Thanksgiving.  There isn’t the buzz to go shopping and spend loads of money on Christmas presents.  There isn’t Christmas lights on the houses and beautifully lit and decorated Christmas trees in the windows.  There isn’t a bunch of holiday...

Read More

Sunday Fun

Sunday Fun

There isn’t an overabundance of fun activities for kids here in Madagascar.  Thankfully though, we live on the northwest coast of the island where the days are hot and the beach is close.  As a mom of young kids, this lack of activities is definitely an unwelcome challenge.  No zoos, no parks, no natural history museum or sea center.  We do have 1 scant playground for which we’re thankful.  The other thing we’re incredibly thankful...

Read More

Catch of the Day…

Catch of the Day…

  A few weeks ago we went for a little fishing adventure.  In the past we’ve always done this sort of thing in a Malagasy lakana or outrigger canoe.  Kids have a funny way of changing things though … and this time we went in a small motorboat where the risk of capsizing is a little less.  It was a great Saturday on the Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean.       ready and excited for a day of fishing! the...

Read More

Preschool Graduation

Preschool Graduation

Two weeks ago, Jamie wrapped up Sekoly (preschool) with the kids, Isabella (5), Eliana (3), and Oliver (3).  We celebrated this milestone for all of them with a little graduation ceremony.  They sang their favorite songs, showed us how they know their letters and the sounds they make, showed us the world map and where their hometowns are as well as Madagascar, and presented their parents with the last 6 months of their artwork and letters...

Read More

Ranomafana

Ranomafana

Two weeks ago, over Pentecost, we had a long holiday weekend… after all, doesn’t everybody have Pentecost Monday as a national holiday?  Along with our guests, we went to a lush rainforest, Ranomafana (literally translated as Hot Water because of the natural hot springs).  It’s one of the “must see” tourist sites on the island.  A large rainforest with a river meandering through the valley floor, full of lemurs, chameleons,...

Read More

Of Birthdays and Modern Technology

Of Birthdays and Modern Technology

We recently celebrated our second daughter, Eliana’s 3rd birthday.  It is during times like this that we are so incredibly thankful for modern technology and the ways that it has the capacity to bring families together who are literally on opposite sides of the globe.  During our celebration, we skyped with “grammy” and “grampy”, who despite being a 10-hour time difference, joined in the festivities with their own party hats,...

Read More

Special Guests & Birthday Celebrations

Special Guests & Birthday Celebrations

    Our long-time good friend and main ministry partner, Josy, left his wife home with their 3 kids and made the 15 hour drive to spend a few days with us and our 3 kids.  It was fantastic!!  We learned something new with our time together…. kids are kids wherever they are and whatever culture they’re from.  Josy felt like he was transplanted back into the chaos of the three small children that he left behind and that chaos was...

Read More

Sekoly

Sekoly is “school” in Malagasy and is what transpires four days a week for the three older kids on our team; Isabella (4), Oliver (3), and Eliana (2).  Sekoly coincides with Malagasy language lessons for the parents, however it’s a very different education for these little ones.  Jamie is their exuberant teacher and as a result, sekoly days are full of explorations and adventures, singing, learning Malagasy words, as well...

Read More
%d bloggers like this: