Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Enjoying cooler weather

These rocks were part of what Ethan termed the "long tour" around the resort complex where we stayed in China. The short tour was inside, and involved walking down two flights of stairs, going through the hall, and out the door. The long tour took you past the well, around the building, across the rocks and the little bridge. I was reminded how much kids need outdoor places to play when I saw how much fun they had climbing these rocks!

Friday, May 25, 2007


It is confirmed. Our children have no tolerance for temperatures less than 80 degrees. We've landed here in Kunming, which is a beautiful city. The weather has been cooler and breezy, in the low 70's and upper 60's. Ethan keeps making comments like, "It feels like winter" and "why is it so cold?" and "when will it be warmer?" I told him to get used to it, because this is what Minnesota may feel like 3 weeks from now. Lest you think too little of us, I will note that this morning at 8:30 as I walked to breakfast on this drizzly day, I could see my breath.

Note to self: buy more warm clothes for my family before going stateside.

Stop the Insanity

The Singapore airport has succumb to the bizarre rules regarding what kind of liquids you can take on flights. From my understanding, all this insanity stems from one man who attempted to create an explosive material from several liquids while on a flight. No word on whether or not they proved he could have been successful.

As a result, the entire world is subject to placing such innocuous things as saline solution and Benadryl in tiny containers for viewing in a plastic bag. You can't even take a bottle of water (what am I going to do with water?!).

I had no liquids aside from a small liquid lip gloss which I seriously thought they might question. It must have been too buried in my bag. Which of course begs the question - if I really could make something fatal with liquid, would I actually display it for you in a plastic bag?

We flew Singapore Air this week to China. Singapore Air is one of the best airlines in the world. The food is recognizable and even somewhat good, unlike American airliners which serve food that I imagine can't be much better than prison food. Sing Air even serve you real silverware. Wait, what? I can't bring my water bottle on, but feel free to take those sharp ball point pens and shoelaces, and here, have some sharp metal objects to eat with. Something isn't right here.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Another proud moment

Ethan has been taking a homeschool pirate class on Friday afternoons for the past few weeks. Today he gave a presentation on "Pirates and the Roman Empire" (each kid had to pick a topic for research, and he chose that because we're studying the Roman Empire in history).

I was nervous for him, because he has never been a performer. Whenever he was in childcare at conferences growing up and the kids all gave a big presentation at the end of the week, he was the one standing on the end staring at the audience with a look that said, "When is this done?" I was sure he would resist presenting, or if he did prepare, he might freeze up when he got there.

Instead, he was pretty enthusiastic about it. I made him practice several times which he did willingly. Despite my coaching to look at the audience, he stuck to his notes (but I was so thrilled that he was able to read 12 note cards of my writing about things as obscure as ancient Rome!). He did stop to point things out on his poster that included a map. He wasn't willing to let me videotape or take pictures, but my friend's son also presented so she caught it on tape.

I feel like this was a huge step for him, though he kept reminding me that he did a skit at the Cub Scout pack meeting a few weeks ago in front of over 100 people, so this was easy. It's fun to see how much he's growing.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

What we've been doing lately

Here's a random photo record of our last few days. Enjoy!

I had to snap a picture of this guy. Ok, how inclined are you to hire a man who appears to be blindly sautering his own fingers together? And look at all that stuff behind him that he's ruined! This is as bad as the moving company called "Hand Removal Service." Think people, think.

Ah, much better. Now there's a couple of cute girls if I say so myself.

What could be more fun that decorating a coconut? Ethan's den did this as part of their end of the year banquet. I love our multinational crew.

Ethan scored big time Thursday night by finding a Lego set for about 1/3 of the original price. He was up at 6:30 to put it together.

He did this whole project almost on his own. It's the biggest Lego thing he's built so far. He got stuck a few times but we navigated the problems together.

Ta da! It only took him the better part of a day, but he's prouder than proud of his new Lego creation. He talks incessantly about Exoforce Legos.

Ethan's latest trick is to balance on this ladder which is supposed to be connected to his bed. The screws are stripped so it never stays on. After we move we're nailing it to the bed!

You can't see them all that well, but Megan spent her Friday afternoon room time dressing her animals up "for Halloween."

When Megan should have been sleeping Thursday night, I found her making beds for all her stuffed animals on her trundle bed. She is one of the most nurturing and compassionate little girls I know.

Megan and her best friend Faith, waiting for chocolate waffles on their trusty scooters. I took my kids and my neighbor's girls across the street for breakfast this morning. Afterwards we played in the hot hot sun for an hour.

Ethan and his good friend Naomi, who will be leaving us soon, enjoying waffles at the hawker center.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


It's happened too many times now to be a coincidence. Every night as I sit at my computer, a small figure darts from behind my desk into the corner to my left. He seems to have set up residence, though he certainly hasn't had the courtesy to chip in on rent.

He is a gecko, and though they are common visitors, I believe this is the same little guy. He's full grown for this variety - probably six inches long from nose to tail end, pale green, likes to chirp. I'll have to sit him down one of these days and break the news to him that we're moving. Maybe we'll invite him to join us, if he's willing to start pulling his weight around the house, maybe do some chores to earn his keep.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Confident Idiot

I had a friend in college named Josh. We met in English class, where we got into a verbal debate. Afterwards, he caught up to me and apologized, then bluntly asked, "Do you believe in God?" This led to many conversations about the existence of God, truth, relativism, and the like. One subject we covered was this phrase, "If I believe there is a God and there isn't, I haven't missed anything. But if I believe there isn't a God, and there is, I've lost everything." While I agree with the latter half of that statement, I have since come to believe that the first part is ludicrous. It only makes sense if Christianity is simply a means to turn ordinary people into moral, socially responsible citizens who can die with a clear conscience.

I think this in particular as I consider our current state of affairs. Here we are, banking on the idea that a God out there somewhere loves us enough and is powerful enough to make an apartment open up in a specific condominium within the next five weeks. And if it doesn't happen, I'm willing to believe that it wasn't the best thing for us. If there isn't a God, I'm a blooming idiot! Seriously, if there's no God, my life makes no sense whatsoever and we should quit ministry, move back to the States, and find lucrative careers that give us the easy life.

But I am confident that there is a God. And while there are times I wish my life were a little more certain, stepping out in faith in this circumstance is exciting. So what are you doing today that makes the world think you're an idiot?