Monday, June 26, 2006


I hate to brag...ok...don't hate it so much, especially when it is necessary! Last week, we took some youth from our organization ice skating. Josh, our 4 year old, and Ruth Anne, our 13 year old, went along. This was Josh's first time ever to skate. The first lap around the rink, Ruth Anne and I each held one of Josh's hands. Then, the next 3 or 4 laps, I held one hand and he held the side with the other. Then, he didn't want my help..."I do it myself," I was told. He kept trying to let go of the side and by the end of the 7th lap he was skating on his own! He skated by himself for the next hour! The rink was fairly empty, so he had plenty of space to practice.
Well, the youth wanted to go back skating one more time. So off we went this week. Josh was very excited. Friday, was the last day of school for the local children, so the mall and the rink were crowded. But, that didn't bother Josh. He held on to the sides for one lap, then off he went on his own! By the end of the two hours, he was making it around 3 or more times without falling! Other kids there were really amazed at him. They would give him the "thumbs up" every time they went by!
I am so amazed at Josh's gross motor skills. He learned to ride a bike all by himself, he hits a pitched tennis ball with a bat (when his short attention span is still looking at the ball), he kicks a soccer ball harder than any 3-4 year old that I've noticed, and he can ice skate. Oh, he also does front flips on our trampoline (since he was 2)! I don't know what God's plan is for him, but He has really gifted him!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Little Blessings...Big Blessings

When we arrived on the western side of Joburg, South Africa, we added 3 to a group of about 13 missionaries. For the next four years, our numbers changed some but stayed close to 10. But, things change drastically at the end of 2005! We added Josh to our family, but all the missionaries working with us left! We were down to just our family of 4!
Our wonderful sending agency provides us with a house and one car. But, as the only mission family left, we were going to need an extra car in case of emergencies (work/school conflict, car problems, accidents...). So we decided to purchase another car. One of our short-term missionaries who finished with our organization and stayed in South Africa to work, was leaving to return to the States. We bought her car before she left.
The car needed some minor work done. That was fine. However, petrol (gas) prices were rising and I was feeling that the car was beginning to require more money per month than we had budgeted for. Then, about a month ago, the car started making a really weird sound by the driver's side front wheel (for those of you in the States, the driver's side is on the right). Well, the strange sound came and went, so in my "how cars work" ignorance, I ignored the sound. But, things got worse. It became almost impossible to put the car in reverse without grinding the gears something horrible. Then, it did become put the car in reverse! I had to turn off the engine to do it. And, on top of that, it was starting to grind when putting it into 1st and 2nd gear. Oh! I knew my car was in big trouble! I just knew our bank balance was in bigger trouble! Transmission - I did know that word and the sound of it rang BIG BUCKS!
But, it was so terrible to drive and I knew the longer I waited the worse it would get. So, I took it to the garage.
Now, the previous owner had used this garage and I had used it for the minor repairs when I bought the car. So they knew the car fairly well. I left the car on Monday morning. All day dollars signs kept flashing through my mind. I prayed many times that God would help provide and would help us stand by our "no drive" policy when we used up our budgeted money for the month. I just knew that would mean going a month without driving.
By 1 pm, I got the call. The car was ready and the mechanic wanted to talk to me. I was nervous. Did we make the right decision in buying a car? Did we really know God was leading us to buy it or did we jump in without His ok? Would this repair take all our savings?
My husband and I arrived at the garage and the mechanic came out to talk with us. He said he couldn't find the water leak I've been having problems with, but would do a thorough check next week. He also said that I may need to have the breaks checked soon. Then, he stopped talking! What about the gears? What was the problem? I thought. Thankfully, my husband voiced my questions. Oh...he said...they just needed some adjustments. NO Charge!
Really? No charge? Adjustments? What does that mean? WOW!!! Isn't God good? He sends us people who know a lot more than me to help us. Good people that we can trust and that will treat us right. God knew we didn't have the money. He provided a mechanic that would make adjustments and not even charge us for his time! Thank you! Thank You, God. Thank you, WP Motors!
My car is working wonderfully. I'm still monitoring the water leak...but it is not a bad leak and I do know how to fill it with water when it gets low.
To some, this may seem like a little blessing, but for me (know-nothing about cars), it is a huge blessing!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

"I Do Myself"

"I do myself." I hear that quite a lot from my 4 year old, Joshuwa. He is in the stage where he wants to try everything himself, from getting dressed to putting on his seatbelt to working the DVD player (help!). About the only thing he doesn't want to "do myself" is clean up his toys! He also gets quite frustrated when we forget to let him or he just can't quite do himself.
Yesterday, two friends from across the street came over to play. One is 5 and the other is 3. Josh has a battery-powered car, another riding toy you work by pushing with your feet, and a bicycle that we took the training wheels off because they were always coming loose.
When I looked out the window, the 5 year old was on Josh's bike, Josh was on the riding toy, and the 3 year old on the car. They were having a great time! When they tired of that, they came in to play until the 2 boys' grandfather came to fetch them.
That evening, Josh tells me, "My friend rode my bicycle by himself. I ride myself, too." Well, I thought, "Ok...sure, Josh tried to ride. I'm sure he fell and then let his friend ride again."
Today, my husband, Kurt, came inside with Josh saying, "Let's show Mom what you can do." I was a little nervous because Josh can already do flips on the trampoline and jumped off the monkey bars of our swingset. But, being the good Mom that I am (?), I went outside, praying Josh would not break a leg while I was watching.
What did he do? He got on his little bicycle, pushed off with both feet, then put them on the peddles and rode that bicycle around the yard! I was amazed! By watching his friend yesterday, he taught himself how to ride his bicycle!!
I am still amazed!