Sunday, March 12, 2017

Happy 50th Anniversary!!

Today is my (Andi) parent's 50th anniversary.  To say that I'm thankful for them is an understatement. They have done (and still do) so much for me and my family and have been an example of sticking together even in difficult times. I'm grateful for the Godly example they have shown me and for the change in all of our lives because of God's work in their marriage.  So, even though you didn't want a party....I still have to honor you in some way!  Love you both so much!

What a beautiful couple!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Snow and Life

Although we could see snow on the volcanoes, we didn't really get to enjoy it much in Ecuador.  The truth is we haven't enjoyed it too much in Ohio either.  It's fun for about a day, maybe an afternoon but our blood has thinned too much for much more than that.  Thankfully it's been a really mild winter and we haven't had to fight it too much.

First snowfall of the year.

Charlie (the Ecuadorian beagle) is training for his new job as an Alaskan sled dog.

Obligatory snow angel

Rosey cheeks.  I think this was a selfie as we were too cold to go out.  The kids stayed out for several hours.

Josiah wanted to go to Taco Bell for his birthday.  Strange kid, but dad was happy with his choice.

16 years ago we were preparing to leave for Costa Rica with this little guy.

Josiah and his friends (on the left) after they failed to get out of an Escape room for his birthday. 

Chad traveled to Spokane for Moody Aviation's mission's conference.  Jonathan and Andrew made sure they all maintained a strict dress code.

Some of you might remember "Snowy" from Ecuador.  He was gifted to our neighbors, but Granny Franny surprised the kids with an exact replica from pictures. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017


These are just random life photos....

Olivia and Charlie

Andi and her Grandma

Kerwin and Andi acting like they are busy at AWANA

Robyn and Andi helping with a youth group project.

Getting to bowl with the Monteros.  So good to see great friends from Ecuador!!

Chad and friends.

Saturday, March 4, 2017


Josiah's dream, since he was first starting school, has been to play football.  He was able to get a taste of it during our furlough back in 2008, when he was a sixth grader.  Well, this past fall he got to experience high school football for the first time and he LOVED every minute.  Josiah (like all of us)can complain about a lot of things....but I can count on one hand the number of times he complained about anything football related, even two a days in August!  Practice started as soon as we arrived in Ohio in July and the season ran until late November.  Another bonus was that the talented team he was able to be a part of, went the furthest into tournament that they had ever gone.  He learned a lot and also learned he has a lot more to learn! He can't wait until next season, unfortunately it will be with a new team, at a new school!

Good friends, the Pinions, who joined the "Knight Train."  Sorry was the best I had!

Braving the cold! (Silvana....este era frio!!)

Last tournament game.

Friday, March 3, 2017


Well it's almost spring and here we are writing about the fall.  Life does get in the way sometimes.  We loved spending the fall with family and enjoying things we didn't get to do in Ecuador.  Here are some highlights.  We stayed busy enjoying the sports seasons and both of us have tried our hand at substitute teaching at the kid's school.

The fall colors never get old and we were thankful for the change of season.

First day of school - Josiah-10th and Olivia-7th

You're never too old to ride in the combine with your dad!

Chad always enjoys playing famer with dad.  None of the stress of being a real farmer, but all of the fun of driving big toys around.  

The view from our apartment.

Chad and his subbing gig with junior highers on a field day!

Fun times with the Dunbars in PA.

We aren't the only photographers in the family.  Josiah captured this shot of his sister enjoying one of the last warm fall days.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Happy Birthday Olivia!!

Some of the silly games we play with our kids are quickly forgotten.  Some stick in our minds like they were played just the other day.  Olivia and I (Chad) had a game that we used to play and it seems like we played it just this morning, yet here we are with another teenager in the house.  The game we played was simple, I made her promise that she would not get any older than six.  Sometimes she would agree as we sat together snuggling in the chair, both us of not wanting the moment to pass. Other times she would be ornery and tell me just how big she was going to get in playful defiance of my wishes.  Well, the tears are flowing as I type this and think of that little girl and the father/daughter game we played.

The truth was that part of me really did want to keep her a little girl forever, but now as I have a teenager, I'm realizing what I would have missed out on.   Her joy for life is contagious and affects everyone with whom she comes in contact.  She makes us laugh every day, sometime when we don't even feel like it.  Right now she is dancing and singing in the other room, to a song coming out of a birthday card that grandma bought.   It's funny to watch, but the song is just right for our Squirrel because she really is  "Some Kind of Wonderful"!!!!  Happy Birthday Olivia!!!  We love you!!

What is your favorite activity? 

What is your favorite color? 

What is your favorite "toy?"

Who are your best friends?
Miriam, Sophie and Maisee

What do you want to be when you grow up? 
missionary teacher

What does Dad do all day? 
subs or flies

What does Mom do all day? 
laundry and subbing

What do you do all day? 

What are your favorite books? 
the Divergent series

What are your favorite movies? 
Bourne identity

What are your favorite foods? 

What makes you happy? 
when everything goes according to plan

What makes you sad? 
Thinking about Ecuador

What makes you mad? 
when i stress out

What do you like to do with Dad? 
laugh, because he's "funny"

What do you like to do with Mom? 

Highlights of 2016
Greatest Lesson Learned 
that i can make new friends wherever i go 

Hardest Thing this Year 

Favorite Memory 
playing Dutch Blitz with friends

Looking forward to 2017
Want to Learn 
How to make new friends

Want to get better 
at not being so stressed out and trusting in God

Goals for 2017 
making the Idaho basketball team

Friday, January 6, 2017

Saying Goodbye...

I knew this day would come and in fact had been praying for it. Over the years I had said my "final" goodbye to my Grandma many times.  Even leaving for Costa Rica, almost 17 years ago, was hard and I knew that my then 81 year old grandma might not be around when we returned from our first term overseas. Of course Grandma continually amazed us with both her longevity and her ability to find joy and humor, even in tough times. She had several stays in the hospital, was on hospice a handful of times, but always bounced back. This past furlough I was able to see her several times a week and most of those trips were good ones. It was hard to see her frustrated with life as it had become. She knew that Jesus was just a few breaths away, but somehow she kept hanging around. I knew that my prayer for her was the mirror of what she was praying. I kept praying, "Lord, just let her come home." Finally, God's and my timing coincided and on December 28th she went to meet Him.  Even though I had thought about and worried over this day for so many years, God, in His mercy, allowed it to happen while we were home. He also allowed me time with her that I never expected or even could have hoped for. Because of His kindness I can't be too sad that she is "gone," because I know it's what we all wanted, and in His ultimate gift of kindness, I will see her again.  I love you Grandma!

Grandma sporting her tattoo sleeve we bought her as a joke!  I will sure miss her humor!