"to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faithin me." Acts 26:18

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Our Day Out...

What a week it's been here at MTI!  We have had much sickness sweep through our family.  We have struggled to not be discouraged as one or both of us missed many classes.  We have continued to work "upstream" to make sure that our family/kids remain our priority and that we are meeting all the needs of our kids, despite the community living and rigorous schedule.  But God has been extremely faithful to us and has brought us through.  Eric and I still have colds, but all of the kids seem to be on the mend.  For that, we praise the Lord. :)

Today our family took a much needed break from MTI and went to eat lunch at Chic-Fil-A and then went to visit Garden of the Gods (or, as our family called it, "God's Garden" :)  It was a stunningly beautiful day! 




Benaiah and Talitha were with us too, but it was too much effort to get them in the picture! :)

After we left "God's Garden" we went for a drive while the little ones slept in the car.  We saw a herd of deer next to the road.  Very cool, but the boys were disappointed to not see them clashing their antlers together.

Then, thanks to Eric and his map (once again) we attempted to drive up a random mountain.  The road deteriorated into dirt and snow and we never found the top, but it was a beautiful drive (and we never got lost, blew a tire, drove off the edge....etc....)

The view from the top was great. :)


Next week, we are starting the second part of our time here at MTI.  It's a 3 week session on cross-culture training.  We've heard that it can be emotionally rigorous.  Please continue to pray for us.  Living away from home isn't the easiest and we would really like to be (and stay) completely healthy again!  It is our prayer that we won't just survive MTI, but that we will thrive here and use our time here to build God's kingdom.

And, if you keep scrolling down I put a few other posts up, as well. :)

Snow!

We've had lots of snow at MTI... It's so pretty, but sooo cold!!



This is the view in the morning from the balcony...♥ love ♥


The kids playing with their new friends...



Talitha--5 Months

Talitha and I had a few quiet moments hangin' out this morning while the kids played downstairs.  She's been so sick this past week, but she perked up a bit while the beautiful morning light just happened to be streaming into our room.  I set her on our crisp white sheets and she gave me some of her lovely smiles--so nice after a week of sniffles and tears. :)



Saturday, February 11, 2012

Colorado-- The First Week!

Well, we’ve finished one week here at MTI. Wow—what an intense week. I have a re-occurring dream where I find myself back at Covenant College, living in Carter Hall again…with my husband and 8 kids…trying to do my assignments and take care of my family. Just to state the obvious… in it, I’m always completely stressed out.

After this week…I am convinced that the feeling I have when I awake from my dream (nightmare?) isn’t that far off base.

In my dream, I always am thinking to myself, “this is ridiculous, why am I still at college?” But, thankfully, this time at MTI does not leave me questioning the value of this time of learning. The teaching and fellowship is great and we are already seeing the benefits of it. But it’s still very hard! My brain and body are exhausted by the end of each day. One of the ladies in the kitchen told me that they even have to cook extra food during this program because the participants get more hungry than in the other programs!

These first two weeks here are all about language acquisition; in other words, how to learn a foreign language. We’ve learned all about the anatomy of the mouth and how our mouths form English sounds.  We are also teaching our ears and mouths to hear and form all sorts of foreign sounds.  And we also spend a great deal of time in “drill”—holding a mirror in front of our mouths and forcing them to make new sounds. (No small task—except the glided vowels—those came super, duper easy for this southern girl. :)

We also have spent a great deal of time putting language learning techniques into practice. Since the point of the exercises is to learn the technique, it really doesn’t matter what language you use it with. So we’ve been studying Russian and a Vietnamese tribal language. The kids have also been learning French, Hindi, Spanish, and Chinese. Benaiah has been doing sign language.

The kids program is wonderful! They are learning so many helpful things. They also took a field trip to the Olympic training center and next week the older class (Timothy, Katelyn, Matthew and Rebecca) will be going to a Chinese Restaurant so they can practice ordering food in Chinese!  The kids teachers have all spent time abroad. Talitha’s watcher lived in Liberia for a few years! The boys were very excited to hear that and are looking forward to seeing her pictures.

It’s coooold here! Lots of snow! The kids are outside sledding right now. MTI has snow equipment (boots, pants, etc) and sleds. They seem to have thought of everything for us!

All in all, a hard, but good time—one week down, four to go!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

On Our Way to Colorado!

Wow! What a whirlwind the last few days have been!

We finally got our house on the market!  Huge praise to the Lord that everything got done to prepare it!  We are praying that if it is God's will for us to sell it, that he will provide a buyer while we are gone.

Yes, gone...yesterday we left for Colorado for almost six weeks.  We will be attending a missionary training school here.  It is a institute that trains the entire family in language acquisition and cross-culture living.  It is all inclusive, so we will be living on site and eating in their cafeteria (yay! no cooking for me! :)  They have programs for all of the kids, so they will be learning the same things, but geared towards their ages.  We have been looking forward to this time of preparation and are praying that the Lord will bless it mightily in our lives and for the building of his kingdom in Uganda.

Our trip here was no small undertaking, but a huge success!  Thanks to a wonderful friend back home, we didn't have to worry about leaving our house in perfect condition to be shown while we were gone, she took care of it after we left.  We stayed with some college/seminary friends in Idaho and enjoyed great fellowship and a wonderful theological discussion that went way too late into the night.  And then after just a few hours sleep, we hit the road to drive the rest of the way here.  We are at a hotel for the weekend before classes start on Monday.  Our hotel is great, and as far as I know, the kids are sleeping peacefully in their connecting room. :)

I broke my finger the day before we left, but while it is still sore, it's on the mend, I think.  So dumb...I fell going up the stairs.  Yes, UP! (I got teased mercilessly by the kids and husband [would he do that?? :)] about that one!) In the process of falling, I jammed my finger against the wall.  The tendon pulled a piece of bone away.  I spent two hours at the doctor the day we were trying to pack, but thanks to the above mentioned friend, we still made it to bed on time!  God is so good to give me both the trials I need and the help I need to get me through them!  What a great reminder this was that we aren't doing this on our own strength! :)

We are praising God tonight for everything!  He is so good to us!  Good night from Colorado! :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Large Family Insanity...

Pictured here:

New socks for five boys... (who manage to wear holes even in the tops of their socks--how do they do that???)...

...color coded for easy sorting...