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Sunday, November 20, 2011

This is Joshua.  He is the Oregon State Cross Country Champion! He runs the 3K.  That is about 2 miles!  I can't remember his exact time, but I remember it was just over 6 minutes per mile!  
We are so proud of him!  Not because he is the champion, but because of the determination it took to achieve that.  It isn't easy to go out in the cold weather and workout.  But he decided he wanted to be a good runner and he worked hard to get the prize.  When most other guys his age are at home playing video games or watching TV in a nice warm house or whatever guys his age do, he gets out and gets it done and then he gets to do those other things too.  Good job, Joshua!!!   

This is him at the finish...the other runners were not even in sight!  He had a strategy and it paid off!  

Monday, November 14, 2011


On the 6th we celebrated Joshua's 10th birthday.  Great Grandma made him a water dragon cake. Normally, he picks out what he wants her to put on his cake, but this year he said for her to surprise him.  She picked the water dragon because that is his newest pet.

We celebrated Josiah's 1st birthday, a week later, on the 12th. Great Grandma made him a monkey cake. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

We ended up our trip with a stop in Santiago, Chile to visit the Valencias, Alfredo, Alexandra, Angella, Ashley and Allison. I first met Alfredo and Alexandra when I was in charge of the conversation partner program at Mt. Hood College for the international students. As I called around seeking people who were interested in practicing their language with somebody trying to learn a different one, I called Pastor Alfredo at Iglesia Vida Nueva to see if anyone in his Spanish speaking church would be interested. He immediately said, "YES, MY WIFE, ALEXANDRA" I set up an interview with her and decided right then that SHE would be MY partner, since I too was trying to learn a language. We met up once a week, first we would talk in English only for a half hour, then Spanish only for a half hour. We hit it off and pretty soon, our hour started turning into longer and more often. One day she suggested that I come to Iglesia Vida Nueva and have practice with church in Spanish. That was ages ago...about 16 years actually and I still attend there, even though a few years ago, they left the states and moved to Chile as head of missions in South America. They originally are from Colombia, but have made Chile their home for the past 10 years. I felt like we were in California. Santiago was like Los Angeles  and the drive to the ocean was through vineyards that made me feel like we were in Nappa Valley, ending at the ocean. From the vineyards we drove to the Pacific Ocean to Vina del Mar. We saw the ocean, sand dunes, seals and pelicans and beautiful tropical colored ocean, finishing off the day with a gorgeous sunset and drive through an old old town called Valparaiso and a view of the harbor. The next day, they took us on a city tour, beginning with a drive up the highest point to see the whole city. You could see how the city is built right up against the Andes. We drove through downtown and then walked around the Capital building, shown here with the mounted guards in front of it. The last place they showed us was a monastery/nunnery that has been restored and is now a little village for visitors. It is full of shops with typical crafts along with other things to look at. Lunch was really different for us and really good...translation was 'corn pie'. It was very similar to Tamale Pie, but different. It had a beef and chicken base and was topped with corn cake...that had a ton of corn in it. It was a special kind of corn that they use for it. Afterwards we went back to the Valencia's place and had coffee and Coffee Kuchen before they took us to the airport for our flight back to the states. It was so good to spend time with them and they did an awesome job of packing so much into such a short time!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

"Oh, Lord, My God, When I in awesome wonder, consider all the world Thy hands has made, I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder and there proclaim, My God How Great Thou Art!" The words to this old hymn have gone through my head over and over the past weeks as I traveled around Argentina. One beautiful sight after another, it was endless. The world is full of His beauty and I was so thankful to have this chance to see so much of it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011