Friday, December 04, 2009

One last update before we leave...

November was a crazy month to say the least. As many of you know, Jon's dad got very sick with H1N1 (it then turned to double pneumonia and became life-threatening) while on holidays in California and was hospitalized for well over a month. At one point, it got so bad that they called all the kids down to be with him, so Jon and his sisters joined their mom in San Clemente. Thankfully, he stabilized enough that they were finally able to air-lift him to Royal Columbian Hospital in Vancouver, a couple of weeks ago. After spending a few days in the ICU there, a bed became available in the Chilliwack ICU and he was moved closer to home. There have been SO many people praying for his recovery and those prayers have been answered in so many ways. Dad still has a very long road of recovery ahead of him but I'm excited to share that he was finally able to go home this week! Praise the Lord for his faithfulness through this uncertain time, and we continue to pray that he will give Dad a full recovery. Thank you to all of you who, have been, and continue to, pray for him & the rest of the family!!!
As I may have mentioned in a previous post, work has been fairly slow for Jon here in Chilliwack. So when the opportunity arose for him to build some cabins at Pines Bible Camp (near Grand Forks, BC), he had to jump at it. It wasn't ideal, considering its a 5+ hour drive but at least it was some more consistent work. Between several trips to Grand Forks, and the trip to see his Dad in California, Jon didn't have much time at home in the month of November. We added it up and I think he only had about a week at home, if we combined all the days.
Needless to say that when he had to go down for another 1 week stretch, halfway through the month, he really wanted Callie & I to join him. I wasn't wild about the idea of being all by myself, out in the sticks, with no internet or human contact during the day, but I also didn't want to have another week away from Jon. So we packed up and went along for a week at camp :) And to be honest, it actually ended up being a very relaxing and much needed break from all of life's crazyness. I watched movies, took Callie for walks, and read a fantastic book. Plus, we got quite a bit of snow while we were there and it was so cute to watch Callie's fascination with the falling snowflakes. She was completely mesmerized by them :) Here are some pictures from our time there...

Goofing off in her playpen when she was supposed to be napping...

Some of the cabins Jon & Adam built...
Enjoying a walk in the brisk afternoon air...
Our 'sun-bather' @ nap time...
(* I must mention that one of my favorite things about Callie right now is her predictability when it comes to sleeping. She ALWAYS sleeps with her hands tucked under her head, and the blanket either right up to her face or over her whole head-- much to my dismay :) You know she's in a deep sleep if she's sporting the "sunbather" pose. If not, chances of her waking up are very high. I love it that she's so easy to read!)

With all the chaos of life, and trying to keep up with everyday commitments, Callie has had many opportunities to spend time with her Grammy & Grampa Glen. They have, of course, been so willing to baby-sit when Jon & I needed to visit Dad Esau in hospital, or while I've had worship practice and Jon had work, or other things to do. We've really appreciated it and it is so fun to see Callie's face light up when she sees them. She definitely recognizes their faces. Thanks for all your help over the last month Mom & Dad! We couldn't have done it without you :)

Having a laugh with Grampa...
... and her more serious side... :)
Christmas will be very different this year, now that we have Callie. She'll be a few days shy of being 6 months old at Christmas, so although she won't really understand what all the fuss is about, it will still be neat for us to share the holidays with her for the first time. I set up the Christmas tree last week and so far, she loves to stare at it in amazement. All the lights & shiny ornaments have definitely captured her attention...
... and so have her toes! She's just recently discovered this new "toy" and loves to pull on her socks and suck on her toes when she's barefoot. :)
Love that wicked little grin...

All ready for the holidays...

Callie turned 5 months old on November 30 and it feels like she's suddenly just so grown up. She laughs and smiles at pretty much anything and is becoming so independent. She's still pretty lazy when it comes to rolling over (she'll roll from her tummy to her back, but doing the opposite doesn't seem to interest her all that much) but she loves jumping around in her exersaucer and has quickly mastered how to spin herself around in it. She tries valiantly to sit up on her own and comes very close with each attempt. And one of our favorite things as of late is her "singing." If you sing to her, or put on music, she quickly sings along. If you stop, she stops. Its hilarious, and very cute. She's really finding her voice and daily practices to see where her highest possible note is. She's not quite at a high A, but I'm sure she'll get there soon ;) We love her constant babble and bubble-blowing, and are endlessly entertained by her cheery personality.
She's also been teething like CRAZY for the last month or so. No teeth have made their appearance yet but she's certainly been feeling the pain of them. She gnaws on anything and everything, drools like a mad-woman, and night-time's with her haven't been as wonderful as they once were. :( But thankfully, overall, she's still the happy little munchkin she's always been.
I love this picture of her chomping on an empty Tim Horton's cup at Grammy's house...
Figured we'd start her young ;)


In other news, one of my very best friends, Ginny, got married on Nov.28. She and Steve tied the knot at the Alliance church here in Chilliwack, and though the weather didn't really cooperate, the indoor decor was absolutely stunning. Here are some pictures from the big day. (Sorry... some of them are pretty blurry as we were sitting in the back row-- Jon and I were ushers so we needed seats that we could sneak into discreetly.)
The beautiful bride making her entrance...






The reception centre pieces were unique & so beautiful...
The very attractive & very happy couple...




Well... this has turned out to be a bit longer than I had originally planned, so I better wrap it up. I'll finish with a quick update on our Thailand trip (which is quickly approaching!) We fly out this Tuesday, Dec.8 (flight leaves at 1:55pm) and travel from Vancouver to Tokyo. Our flight arrives in Tokyo at 5:30pm and our our next flight leaves at 6:35pm, so it doesn't leave us a lot of time (please pray that we make our connecting flight!). We then fly to Bangkok and arrive there at 11:45pm. From there, we will be driving to the guest house we're staying at in Bangsaen, and aren't scheduled to arrive 'til 2:00am. Needless to say, we could REALLY use your prayers for getting enough sleep on the flights, and energy to get us through the intense travel.
Our 10 days in Thailand are set to include anything from: visits to the different church plants (some as far north as Chiang Rai), time at the ALH orphanage in Chonburi, helping out with kids' soccer camps in Angsila, Praise & Worship times w/ the churchs we visit, visiting the Khmu villages, and much, much more. And although they have provided us with an itinerary, we've been told to be prepared for things to change. :)
So... for those that are willing to pray for us while we're in Thailand, here is a specific list of things we could use prayer for:

- good, restful sleep & good health while we are flying (**especially for Callie... but also for Jon & I. Quite frankly... if Callie doesn't sleep, neither do I! And I don't want to be useless due to exhaustion, once we arrive in Thailand)
- safety in travel (both air & land)
- flexibility from Callie during our busy schedule
- clear calling from God (ie: what he has in store for us.) We'd really love to receive concise answers as to whether to pursue missions or not, and whether it should be Thailand or somewhere else, or whether He just wants us to stay closer to home.
- open hearts & minds for what He calls us to.
- freedom from distractions & worries while we're there. To be able to soak in the experience, and then clearly debrief our time in Thailand.
- to have the opportunity to speak into people's lives while we're there (whether it be in word or action-- we want to be able to show God's love clearly to those we encounter).
- continue to pray for the missionaries that are already there (the Sanchez family, the Sinclair-Peters family, & the Owens family). We're excited to see the way God has been moving over there, through these faithful servants!
- and just continued prayer for a softening in the hearts of the Thai people. Thailand is only 0.7% Christian so there is still a lot of work to be done in sharing the Gospel with unbelievers.

We just want to say a HUGE thank-you again to everyone who has supported us both financially & through prayer!! We wouldn't have been able to do this trip without you and are so appreciative of everyone's support as we embark on this adventure! So... bye for now & we'll 'talk' to you in a few weeks!

5 comments:

Leanne said...

I'm praying for your family! So glad to hear the news about Jon's dad - what a scary time that must have been.
Callie is SOOOOO adorable! My goodness, those eyes would melt anyone!

Blessings on these last few days of prep.

Kevin n Julie said...

WOW! We'll be praying for you guys...we fly with our kiddos to TX, can't imagine overseas, but it'll be good! Have you ever heard of "EarPlanes"? They're ear plugs for kids (& adults) so that they aren't in pain during flights. Thought you might find that useful. Also, I think I know your friend Ginny. Did she go to His Hill in TX? Have a great trip to Thailand! :)

Kelsie-Lynn said...

That really was a busy month. Callie is such a sweetie and I think she just gets more cute each time you post pictures! We will totally be praying for you guys, and Jons family for both healing for his dad and for your trip! We will look forward to hearing about it when you get back.

Al said...

Heather and I as well as the kids are so thankful to hear about Ken's improving health! While we were at SCC over the years of all the people who really took a regular interest in our kids it was him. So we're all glad to hear that he is recovering.
As you wonderfully described how Callie sleeps it brought us back a few years ... cherish all things with your children cuz YIKES Noah's going into Sr High next year and Madeline's already in Middle School. We feel like it was just such a short time ago that we were holding and rocking them to sleep. I try but Noah doesn't like it anymore.
While you're in Thailand our family will be praying for you each day for peace, safety, direction and guidance.
Say a special hello to the SP's and Sanchez's from us.
Al and Heather

Nini said...

Looking forward to hearing all about it when you get back! Your little love is SO beautiful...as are you! Praying for you guys!