"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

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Our hilarious run-in with the Oregon State Patrol...

So today I was driving to Portland with the kids and a friend.  We were half-way there when the kids said, "Hey Mom!!  There's a police behind you with his lights and siren on!!"


I pulled to the side of the busy highway and waited.  The patrol officer came to the window and we had the following conversation...

Officer-lady: "ma'am...who are you driving for?"

Me (feeling a bit confused): "ummm...myself?"

Officer-lady (looking at the kids in the back of the car): "Are these all yours?"

Me (surprised, because I usually only get that question in the grocery store): "um, yes..."

Officer-lady (clearly surprised): "How many do you have??"

Me (finding it hard to believe that I am seriously having this conversation with the police on the side of I-5): "Eight"

Officer lady: "Well, we are patrolling for illegally driven buses with children, since it's spring break time and all and well I saw you and I pulled up your tag and it said private, but I just wasn't sure... I'm really sorry.  Can I just take a quick look at your licence and then you are free to go."

Oh, yes...

Just call us the Tuininga Family...

Blowing the minds of liberal Oregonians...

One van full at a time...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Bridge of Chaos

In class yesterday, we did a great exercise while we discussed the following diagram.  It's hard to see in this picture, but it is a bridge from "settled in America" to "unsettling" to "chaos" to "resettling" to "a new settled in new country." 

To show how this works, we created a bridge with chairs and balls.  Some of the chairs, representing "settled" were stable on the ground, but the "unsettled" chairs were rocking.  The "Chaos" stage was represented by three large yoga balls.

A few people in the class were choosen to form a team, representing a family and two singles.  Katelyn played the part of "daughter" :)  They were all roped together, representing their unity.

Their trip to their new country began quite smoothly.  Dad took the lead and gave instructions.

But soon they hit "chaos."  Nothing was stable in their life.  But the rest of the class rallied around them and supported them as they made their trek and no one fell. 

And as we worked together, we all knew...this is what we need....the support of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We need our family to pray for us and love on us as we face fearful words like "unsettled" and "chaos."  We need you praying for us and the grace of God lifting us, if we hope to make it across that kind of bridge to Uganda.

After class, the kids went downstairs and made their own bridges.  Their bridges had USA on one hand and Uganda on the other.  The popsicle planks were labeled by them with words of their choosing...some nice sounding, like "adventure" and "new friends."  Others didn't sound so nice, like "sad," "hard," and "goodbyes." 

But under each of their bridges is a heart...the love of God the father, lifting us up...carrying us through...

Please hold us in your prayers as the ground beneath us shakes... 

A Couple of Day Trips in Colorado

MTI is located quite close to Focus on the Family.  We spent one of our days off playing at the Focus on the Family facility.  We were quite impressed...especially considering it is free! 

They even had space enough for all 10 of us! :) 

Right before we left home, so friends in our church gave us a whole sack of Adventures in Odyssey tapes.  So we just *had* to have some ice cream at Whit's End Ice Cream Shoppe.

We thought that surely we could send the above mentioned friends the bill because had it not been for listening to hours of Odyssey in the car, the kids probably wouldn't have cared...  :)

Then, today, we drove part-way up Pike's Peak today.  It was super pretty. 

But super cold at the top...

And the snow plows were super cool... :)

Crazy Busy at MTI

We have been wonderfully busy here at MTI.  A silent blog speaks only to a crazy schedule from the time I force my eyes open in the morning, until I fall into bed way too late. 

This has been our home away from home for the past month.  Yes, it is really this beautiful.  And yes, we Eric is loving all the snow. 

For about five hours a day, we are in class.  We start the mornings with singing and prayer.  We have truly enjoyed the spiritual fellowship and feasting here.  It has been a delight to our souls.

Sometimes the kids join us for lessons.  In this particular class the teacher had them line up in no particular order and place a rope on their heads.  He called it his "line graph" showing the ups and downs of settling in a new culture... :)

After class we unwind together in our room until supper.  Since all of us are exhausted at this point we usually chill with a video or a book together.

 We eat all our meals together in the cafeteria.  The food isn't being gracious to our GI tracks, so I have allowed the unthinkable (haha!.)..cereal for any meal they want...