Friday, June 29, 2007

Keeping Us Laughing

A week or two ago Quinn was waving his sword around and said, "Me have a sewald, momma!"

Noticing how cutely he said sword, I imitated him back. "Really? You have a sewald?"

Propping his arm up on the windowsil he sighed and said, "You need to speak a little bit in English"


Thursday, June 21, 2007


This is the view from Areponapuchi at the top of the Copper Canyon.

Well, the plans are underway and in full swing! Brent and about 12 other guys and teen boys are trekking down in August to Mexico to help Chad Rizzuto build his base camp building. Last night Chad called from Mexico and filled us in on a little bit more info.
The town they are going to be in is barely on any map, but it's called Areponapuchi and is about 30 km from Creet. They will be going to the Sierra Madre Mountains Occidental located on the northwest part of Mexico. (About a 4 hour train ride west of Chihuahua.)
The crew plan to drive an RV and one other vehicle 30 hours from MD to El Paso and enter Mexico at the Juarez entry point. Right now they aren't sure exactly what kind of construction work they will be doing. It will all depend on how much Chad and his small group of guys get accomplished by August.

Right now there are a LOT of loose ends. Since they are not going through an agency- just freelancing!- they are having to do all the fact finding (and believe me, it's a lot!) on their own.
It is definitely going to be a trip based on a lot of faith in God.

As of right now there are few major issues that need a lot of prayer.
1. Passports. Due to the travelling season, getting passports is taking a lot longer than usual. Some of the guys haven't even had a chance to apply for one, although they can get it expedited, it will cost double! Brent, unfortunately already sent away for his at the regular rate, so we are just praying it gets here in time! The bad part is that they require you to send in your actual hard copy of your birth certificate, so you don't have anything until it comes in the mail.
2. Customs. Since they are going to be bringing a ton of tools to do construction they will have to stop in the "Items to Declare" line in customs. They will have to give an account of everything they are bringing and pay duty taxes on all of it. We just need prayer that all the customs work, tourist cards/vistas, declarations, etc, go smoothly with no corrupt Mexican police!
3. RV. Although all the main roads are paved, the road to the village is only dirt and going up a mountain. So, as Chad said, getting up the road will be "doable, but interesting!" Just pray for everyone's safety traveling and that no harm will come to the RV.
4. I am trying to arrange all the food, but just found out today that according to Mexican law they cannot take any homemade foods over the border. They won't be able to freeze anything (no freezer!) either. They will have a stove in the RV, but I'm thinking that with all the heat they're not going to want to heat it up any more than they have to. So, I'm open to any and all suggestions!

I am so excited that God is going to do such an incredible faith building work. I'm praying that the trip will be an opportunity for God's glory and power would be abundantly evident in every aspect.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Daughters of the Faith

I just have to recommend a book I finished reading. Actually, it is Cait's book called The Tinker's Daughter
It is about Mary Bunyan- John Bunyan's blind daughter. (He wrote Pilgrim's Progress, remember?)
It was a wonderfully accurate historical fiction book. But more than that, it was intensely biblical in it's writing. Now, I've not read the other books in the Daughter's of the Faith Series, but this one was excellent. It truly captured a person's struggle with sin and hesitation over acceptance of the gospel. I won't give away the story but, it is one that I had a hard time putting down!
Let me know what you think if you read it!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Tribute to Dad

Last night I was laying in my bed when a sudden, horrible realization rushed upon me. I forgot to call my Dad on Father's Day, AND the next day! Oh, what guilt! I am so utterly pathetic when it comes to remembering birthdays, holidays, and the like. Somehow they creep up on me without me realizing it! For better or for worse, my family knows I am as absent minded as can be, but I still hate the feeling of knowing I'm letting them down. Or, worse yet, that I don't really care about them- which I most certainly do!

So, after I was finished lamenting my shortcomings to Brent (who doesn't even bother to raise his expectations anymore!) and berating myself, I resolved, first, to call Dad (I did send a card, but still, it's not the same...), and second to give a testimony about him!

Dad, you are one of the corniest people I know! Now, lest you think I am starting off with a curse and not a blessing, I must explain myself! As a kid I had this "love/hate" feeling about Dad's seemingly ceaseless corny jokes. One one hand, he embarrassed me, because, I, of course, thought NO other father in the whole world EVER cracked such lame jokes as he did. Don't worry, I've since learned it is quite the opposite! It is some sort of rite of passage when a man becomes a father. They lose all sanity as quickly as the mother loses her figure during pregnancy! Yet, in all his humor I found a strange sense of comfort and actually a reassurance that he was normal (see I DID really know deep down it was a "dad" thing). Since I spent so many years without a dad in the house it was a deep longing inside me to have a man who made me "his daughter". And, surprisingly one of the things that made me feel like "his" was his crazy and illogical humor. Thanks Dad, for always making me laugh- even when I just laugh 'cause I don't really get the joke!

Dad has always done a good job of showing me a servant spirit. He loves the Lord and is always looking around him to find someone who needs help. Maybe it was a paint job for someone, a meal, a grass cut, a hug or a laugh. Maybe it was just a bit of help in backing up a car, tasting a bite of his food, or slipping you a $20 bill when he had it. I know through the years I've bristled when he offered his help. I guess I saw it as a lack of confidence in my abilities. But now I see more clearly that it is all about how he best displays God's love through him. God has given him a huge heart that loves people- all kinds too! The always has a moment for an elderly person, a wrestle for a little boy, a tender pat on the back for us girls, a day of work for a person who needs it, or a loud guffaw laugh to lighten the mood.

Dad loves to make memories too. I can still remember him dressing up as Santa and walking in the back yard with hopes of prolonging our childish belief in Santa Claus just one more year! We ate corn on the cob so many times each summer that for years after I was out of the house I couldn't even look at corn! What a memory, right?! He did always finish off the ends of the cobs for me since I never ate them. I remember the annual event of him jumping into the newly opened pool fully clothed and usually dragging Tara in too. I think I was always able to avoid being tossed in, thankfully!

Then, the seasonal trek to every firehouse with a Christmas train garden within an (un) reasonable distance comes to mind. I 'm not a huge train fan, but it was always fun seeing Dad get as excited as a little kid as he pointed out all the parts and scenery. Now, I find myself wanting to pass the tradition on to my kids.

And, speaking of firehouses, how can one forget the hours w all spent crowded around the scanner waiting for "a good one" that we could jump in the car and go watch. The Bon Lumber fire is still etched on my memory! Boy was that hot!

From deafening snores in the background as we watched TV at night, to double and triple checking to make sure we washed our hands- with soap- after an outing, Dad has left an impression! You can always count on him having a mint in his pocket or giving you the ever-reaching cure of "go rub some alcohol on it"! You can count on him for getting in trouble having pillow fights on Young People's trips, but also know he'll risk his own embarrassment by picking up my feminine products at the grocery store because as a teen I was too embarrassed!

I know I'm just skimming the surface of all my memories here, but it is such fun reliving the moments. Times have not always been easy. Jumping into a family with two adolescent girls never is. But, through it all Dad has always been there for me. I know that the minute I pick up the phone I can count on him for anything.

I am so grateful to God for giving me a dad like him just at the perfect time HE knew I needed one. Because of the love Dad has shown me, I am better able to see the Heavenly Father's love for me.
Dad, I'm sorry for forgetting to call on Father's Day, but please don't think that it's because I don't care. I love you so much!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Blurrrrrrrrr......

The past two weeks have passed by in a blur! We've been unusually busy but accomplished a lot!
Here are the highlights.
At the end of May Bebop celebrated his 83rd birthday. We all had an impromptu party at Mom and Dad's house with hot dogs and cake. It was good to see Nanny and Bebop since we don't usually have lots of time to visit. It was nice to just sit and chat and relax.

June 2 our umbrella hosted a Homeschool Trunk sale in the parking lot of church. We had 28 people come set up all their homeschool and kids stuff behind their car like a big yard sale. Unfortunately, we didn't get as many buyers as we had hoped. I later found out that there was a big CHEN graduation that day. Maybe next time will be better. I made $45 but ended up giving a ton of girls clothing to a lady who needed them. At least I didn't have to bring it home and find a space to store it! I'm going to try to sell the rest of the homeschool books online.

Speaking of school books- our home library is growing and we really needed another bookcase. I have 3 matching pine Ikea bookcases and had planned on getting a 4th when we had the money. Unfortunately when I went back to Ikea, I found they had discontinued them. I searched everywhere but couldn't get another. Finally a few months had passed and I received an email from a lady in Northern VA who had seen my desperate post on Craigslist. So, of course, I sweet-talked Brent into driving me down to N. VA to buy this bookcase! Mom and Dad Trautman ended up taking the three older kids to Beachmont for the school picnic day, so we just had Quinn. It was fun- even when we had to stop at a Target for clothing on the way home because Quinn threw up everywhere. So, we now have 4 beautiful bookcases all neatly lined up on the wall- and organized (which was a several day process)!

Cait and Grant are continuing their piano and guitar lessons on Thursdays. Each day they practice all their work and are really enjoying it. I wish I could help Grant more, but I don't understand all the guitar strings and cords. At least with Cait, I've had a few lessons and know enough to help her right now. Their teacher Miss Kay says they are both doing really well, thankfully.

The entries on my calendar for the first week of June were leaving me a little panicky, but God sent relief by having a few things canceled. We still had Open Bible's Graduation, Tim Lindner's graduation party on Thursday (I can't believe he has graduated!), LIFE Mentor luncheon, Piano lessons, and a few errand days. Friday night we had the kids spend the night at Chip and Kim Bauer's house. It was so kind of them to offer since both sets of Grandparents were unavailable. They kept the kids very busy playing outside, going to get snowballs, staying up late watching a movie, eating homemade waffles, and going to the park. They all looked exhausted the next day!
Well the reason we had to have the kids stay at the Bauers was that our small group was having a half day of prayer at our house the next day. I'll blog more about that later, though!

Then, this week we had the privilege of helping to care for Popdaddy both Tuesday and Wednesday evening while Mom and Dad T are out of town. I'll blog more about that too!

Brent is working like a fiend trying to spend a ton of the state's grant money for his team. It's cool because they get a lot of nifty equipment but stressful because it's got to be mostly finished by the end of June. Plus he keeps getting call outs! He got called out all night both Saturday and Tuesday so he's in recuperating mode. He's low on sleep and we miss him a bunch!

Well, we still have a few more days of craziness this weekend, (mentor meeting with Dawn G and Church Picnic- if we go!)but then we have a week with virtually nothing on the calendar! Then the last week of June, David and Amy Lindner are going to stay with us for a week while Ken and Kim go away for their anniversary.

I know this is probably a boring entry for everyone reading it, but it was therapeutic for me to write it out! LOL!