Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More encouraging news. We got three new supporters this week. Praise God! And pray for Zach and I on Thursday the 1st. We will be flying to Grand Rapids and then on Friday driving to the wedding of one our girls from boarding school days. We will be flying home on Monday. I have a bit of a cough and Zach has been sick the last couple days, so please pray for health and good sleep on this trip. Thanks...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Encouragement...

Hello one and all... I have not really blogged in a long time. It has been a tough road but I wanted to thank those of you that support us and pray for us. I REALLY appreciate your partnership and participation in our lives as we follow this road to Mali. We were encouraged recently by someone in our lives that was blessed by a new job and just told us they wanted to start supporting us for $100 a month. She said she felt God was leading her to do this. We were shocked and humbled... and it was a reminder that not only does our support not come from where we expect it might, but it was a reminder that God is the one who orchestrates our going and coming and He will lead us. We have had many discouraging days as life takes it's toll. It is hard living in constant limbo. We would like to make plans but it is hard. Here is the verse that is ALWAYS an encouragement.

Acts 17:26-28

26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28'For in him we live and move and have our being.

We are now at 47%!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday Disco

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Enjoying the Midwest




Eliana Grace Kunkle

We are in our last week of a three week jouney to the midwest. I love this place. It is such a new world when you have been in another country or just California. So we love being in Church here and signing hymns and sitting in pews. We love being asked what kind of POP we want to drink. We love paying $1.65 for gas!!! And we love the gentle fall of white winter snow... (We also love that we wont be here for the next four months to shovel said snow!)

Mostly I am enjoying my family. I have a six month old niece Eliana who I met. I have a 5 week old nephew Noah who I just met. And I love haning out with my parents and family. It goes so fast!!!

See you soon, California...




Noah William Kunkle

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Carving it Up



Jeff loves carving pumpkins. Yesterday he and Drew and Joe worked on carving their pumpkins. He did a cool time lapse too if you want to see it, go check his blog.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Noah William Kunkle


Here is the before picture!

Ok... I just have to tell you that I am an auntie for the fourth time. My second nephew was born today to Nathan and Stacie Kunkle. He was 10 Pounds 1 ounce and 21 inches long. (Way to go Stacie!!!) I am so thrilled for them. This is their second child. Abby is 2 1/2 and will be a great big sister. I am so thankful that I am going out to Michigan in November and will get to meet Noah as well as Eliana who will be 6 months old! We are so rich in family!

I just have to add that we didn't know what sex the baby was for any of my nieces, nephews, or our own children! That is so rare anymore, and I am proud of all my siblings doing that also! It was such a joy to find out today that she had a boy!!!!

And Here He IS!


Family Photo


This photo is of my mom, her older sister and her parents. It is one I have never seen before. I love looking into the past and seeing a glimpse of my mom's life. I don't remember her mom. She died when I was four. I wish I could have known her. People say there is a family resemblance. What do you think?

Oh yea... today is my grandpa's 85th birthday and he just had a great grandson born today! What a day to rejoice!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October...???


Gina, Me, Christine

Can it really be October? Did I totally miss a whole month of blogging? I really don't know what happened there. Except to say that life is continuing to fly by at hyper speed. Most recently I went to Ojai for a whirlwind two days with Zachariah to speak to Life Design. (A women's Bible study that meets at Ojai Valley Community Church- the Church we attended while living in Ojai.) This Bible study group is sponsoring three missionary families that the Church supports. They have been sending us encouraging letters, they are saving their change to give us, they are making scarves to auction off and raise money for us. (And the other missionaries.) So I went down to speak to them and tell them a little more about what we are doing now and what we hope to do in Mali. It was a very encouraging time for me. I love being with my good friends down in Ojai. I was also impressed by the ladies at Life Design that really seem to have a heart for serving God and doing His will. It was so uplifting to spend some time there. Thanks for your hospitality ladies!


Autumn, Zach, Amber

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Birthday Water

OK... so by birthday is coming up... (In case you forgot!) :) A friend invited me to help out this September project to bring clean water to people in Ethiopia. So in lieu of presents, I would like people to donate to getting clean water to people. Here is the link...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Aim Lower, Think Smaller, Give Up, and Go Have a Cup of Coffee!

Here is an interesting video that my mom shared with me this week. Watch it and let me know what you think. Pray with us about wisdom in challenging out kids to share Christ with the world! And for our faithfulness and doing it also!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Swimmin'


Wow... it's been so long since I blogged, the page actually looks different. :) So I must write about how proud I am of my boys. They went from being totally afraid of the water at the begining of this summer to being very comfortable in it and Drew is even swimming some. They both go underwater now. Here are some photos of their big accomplishment. Growing up I was a total fish in the water and then was on the swim team in high school and then life guarded in college, so I am thrilled to have them swimming!!! Enjoy the photos... and it's good to be back! :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Going Green



Well I have been lamenting the cost of diapers for many years. Recently in Colorado I talked to someone who was using cloth diapers. Now I used cloth diapers with Drew when we lived in Cote d'Ivoire. It was a mess and I did not like it. Well they have some pretty cool cloth diapers now and decided to give it another try. Actually it is an all or nothing deal cause these are pretty expensive. But after spending about $80 month on disposables and filling up the land fills with our diapers, I decided it was worth it. So now here is our happy little Zachariah. Still smiling with his Happy Heinys and Fuzzi Bunz.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fathers Day


This is Janessa, Zach's teacher for the last three weeks. He will have a new teacher for the next two, and he will miss her. She was such a sweetie!




We went to the air force chapel for Church this morning. It was an interesting experience. It was mostly tourists as far as I could tell that were there. Today was fathers day and they did have a nice message. Communion was taken up front in two long lines with the choice of wine or grape juice. I went with Drew and he chose grape juice.









The chapel has stain glass windows that go up all sides so when the sun hits them, it really shines through so beautifully on the inside.





We were sad to see most of our friends go on Friday. We are still at MTI, but our SPLICE program is finished and our PILAT program is begining on Monday night. New people have started to arrive and it is strange already to see new faces here. It is amazing how close you can get to people in three weeks.


The kids all went up to the train tracks with Jeff today and played in a huge dirt pile. They were all so filthy. After their baths I took this photo of Harley. Jeff got some good footage of the train. I'm sure he'll be making a great video of this place after we get home to share with you all.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Here we Are...



We have been in Palmer Lake Colorado for 2 weeks now. We are participating in Cultural Adaptation training. It has been really good for the whole family. We are doing our best to keep the kids on normal scheduals.




Drew and Joe have been in classes that correspond to what we are learning. From talking about things we are looking forward to when moving to Mali, and things we are not excited about. We have talked about conflict styles... I am a turtle and Jeff is a shark. (Not a surprise if you know us well.) And we have talked about the stages of transition between two cultures. From being settled in your home culture, to unsettled, to chaos, to unsettled in your new culture, to settled in your new culture. It was interesting to see where the kids saw themselves.

Joe, Drew, Hannah and their teacher, Uncle David. (David is an MK from France.)





There are many fun people here that we are getting to know. One family we knew from our appointment with WorldVenture last June. The Hermans. They have three teen agers who are great with our kids. It is amazing being around so many people who are like minded.



Katie and Harley are so stylish.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I'm In Love!!!



I am so in love with this kid. We are having so much fun with him. You would think you would get tired of all the new things a baby does by baby number four. But on the contrary, Jeff is convinced Zach is happier and has more smiles than all our other kids. He is just SO Cute! He is also very ticklish. :)




That is just a sock on his hand, his feet are not up by his face!

Friday, May 23, 2008

MTI Training!!!



We are leaving at 6:30 AM on Monday May 26th for Mission Training International in Colorado. We will be there for five weeks during which we will be trained in Language Acquisition Techniques and the vitals of cross-cultural ministry. We will be in classes Monday through Friday and our kids will attend classes as well. We will be staying on this compound where all the classes are held. There are 60 people total in these classes and living on this compound. Please pray for our safety during our travels and for these five weeks, that we will get all we can out of it. Also continue to pray for our support to come in. We are currently at 35% of our support and we would still love to leave in August if we could reach 100% by then.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Zachariah's Smiles


Jeff put together this amazing video and I wanted to share it here in case anyone didn't get the email from him.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Sprinkler???






MaryLou heard what sounded like a sprinkler left on as she headed upstairs, so she began looking in the bushes. After seeing no water, an Erie feeling crept over her and she called for Jeff to come quickly. After confirming that it was in fact a Rattle Snake, they called Harley and began the hunt to get it out of the bushes and kill it. (Sorry animal lovers...) The kids all watched from a high perch on the porch, and MaryLou actually swung the fatal blow.






I swung a few more blows just to make sure. I have children nearby after all. Many thanks to our cat who sniffed it out and got it's rattler going. And to the vultures who made off with it! I hope that's the last one around here, but I doubt it!


Saturday, May 17, 2008

the BOW

OK... MaryLou found this bow when we had Harley so I just had to pass it on to my niece. I think she looks adorable in that bow. I can't wait to hold her...



Eliana Grace



Jeff and Eliana



Angela and Harley

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Eliana Grace Kunkle


I have a lot to praise God for this week. My brother Jeff and his wife Angela have been on a long road to have a baby. Many of you, my dear friends and readers have prayed for them with me over the years. Well yesterday they gave birth to a little girl. (Or I should say a big girl!) Eliana Grace Kunkle. (It means God has answered our Prayers.) She was born in Zeeland Michigan at 2:52 AM and was 21 inches and 9 Pounds. I am a very proud Auntie!!

Seeing my Dad


I am so behind in my blogging... when is there time these days??? OK, so last week on Wednesday my dad (who lives in Michigan and is a charter pilot) got a flight to Hanford California. (About three hours from here.) He was only going to be on the ground for three hours but we couldn't resist the chance to see him and have him meet Zachariah. SO we left our house at 6:30 AM and drove to Hanford to surprise my dad. He was thrilled that we had made the effort and we loved every minute of our short few hours with him!!! Drew missed a field trip to see a play that day, but his field trip with us included sitting in my dads Jet. Pretty cool exchange I would say.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Highlights of Womens Retreat 2008


* Staying in the most beautiful Hotel with the most beautiful view!!!


* Playing Spoons till all hours of the night with friends!
* Shopping in Pismo with those friends, and getting a special gift for a special friend!

* Being with Friends from Ojai that I only see once or twice a year!!!


* Sharing my newest Joy... Zachariah with my dear friends.

* And coming to know more than ever that God has us in this place in life for a reason. It was a wonderful weekend!!!

**** And Oh YES.... The Chocolate was amazing!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Off Again...


I am happy to announce that I am headed to Avila Lighthouse Hotel for two days for Ojai Valley Community Church's Womens Retreat. Yea... MaryLou gave this weekend to me for a Christmas gift and I am SO grateful. Cheers for a wonderful Lulu!!! Plus... Zachariah has slept through the night for the past three nights... so that is just in time to keep me well rested to party with my girls. Here I come...

Monday, April 28, 2008

In Memory Of...


When we were dorm parents at ICA, we had the most beautiful and amazing young girl in our dorm. Lori Morrison. She was a southern belle in the most innocent way. I loved the way she would say 'Uuuncle Jeefff' with her cute southern accent. She was always smiling and laughing and sincere. We just found out yesterday that she did not wake up in the morning. I don't know yet why she died. She was in the emergency room and they did not find anything wrong so they sent her home. And the next morning she was gone. I know she is with our father in Heaven. She knew Him, trusted in Him, hoped in Him, and had a person relationship with Him. She was an amazing girl and I just pray for her parents who are on their way back from Africa and her three older siblings who are suffering from the loss of Lori. Here is a link to a page in memory of her on facebook.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Brothers and Cousins



Jeff's brother Jim,his wife Becca, and their new son Caleb are out visiting us for a few days from Brooklyn, New York.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sleep...


I have been wanting to blog... but I type so slowly one handed and I'm usually only in front of the computer when I'm nursing. So... things are going well. Zach did get a cold so pray he gets better soon. We are still up once or twice a night. I could relate to this cartoon. Although Jeff said he would take a night feeding sometime soon, so I'll let you know if that works out. We are excited to see Jeff's brother Jim, his wife Becca, and our new nephew Caleb tomorrow. Yea!!! I'll put up some photos of the little cousins after the weekend.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

One Fat Cat





Pilchard our cat is an outdoor cat. We got him and his sister Bird, a couple years ago to take care of our mouse problem. We no longer have a mouse problem, or ground squirrel or gopher, or bird problems. When Pilchard gets in, he heads for a nice bed to sleep on. Lately I have found him in Zachs bed! He is enormous for your average outdoor cat. you can see here how he dwarfs our Granny.