Wednesday, August 31, 2005

They're Off!

Andrew and Laura's last morning here went smoothly. They opened another bank account, made another trip to the drug store, said goodbye to two more family friends. We stopped at Taco Bueno for lunch on the way to the airport (we don't recommend their new potato skins), and they had no problems checking in. Their 4 bags each weighed just barely under 70 lbs so they didn't have to pay; starting tomorrow, the maximum weight is 50 lbs each before you have to pay. Good timing.

Our new daughter-in-law has quite a sense of humor. Here are some funny things we heard from her today:
  • I know they're going to think I'm starting up a farmacia with half a suitcase of deodorant, three bottles of contact solution, two Epipens, ...
  • He can buy his first Hummer when he has his first dictatorship.
  • That pink suitcase is so bright it will show up on Google maps.
After we dropped Andrew and Laura off at the airport, we went to see a movie using the free passes I had gotten for my birthday several weeks ago (they expire tomorrow). We saw The War of the Worlds. My favorite line from the movie was:

"Rachel! Stop talking!"

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Big Bug

Some things do grow bigger in Texas. We found this dead bug yesterday. I tried to look it up in my insect book, but couldn't identify it. Any ideas? And while it is large, it is considerably smaller than the rhinoceros beetles we used to have in the Solomon Islands. (Hmm, it may be a female Eastern Hercules Beetle. I found that info while using google images to look for a rhinoceros beetle.)

The power at our office is still out, and may be until Friday. Rumor is that $25,000's worth of copper cable has to be replaced. I used my unexpected holiday to organize and upload all of my photos from our trip to the Dominican Republic and Andrew and Laura's wedding. If you are interested in having a look, here is the link to my website. The four new sections of photos can be found under the link called "Some favorite photos."

Andrew and Laura leave tomorrow at 3pm. Pray for God to give them a safe trip and a smooth transition to their new life as a married couple in Ethiopia.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Uploading Images

I've just discovered a new way to add images to my blog entries, so now I'm testing it. Here is a closeup of the cake I made for them--like the cardboard cutout??

Looks like no work tomorrow either since the electrical repairs at the center are not going very fast. Apparently a lightning strike fried a large power main to the Key Blgd.

Forced Vacation

No trip to the office for me and Gary today, or for anyone else at our Wycliffe Center. The quad of offices are without power since yesterday, apparently due to a burned out power main or something.

The timing is good from my point of view, since David showed up late last night to spend a few hours with Andrew and Laura before they leave for Ethiopia. He will drive back to Houston sometime later today. Since he did so well on his first exam last Monday, I guess he thinks he can miss classes today. At any rate, we are glad he came home, even if he missed the reception last Saturday.

Andrew and Laura have to get serious about starting to pack their stuff up and I think they decided they need to start by buying another suitcase. Yesterday I started feeling sad about them leaving. Laura's mom and David are making plans to go to Addis Ababa for Christmas, so they should be able to have some family with them for the holidays.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Wedding Reception

Tonight we had a reception for Andrew and Laura. It was a lot of work, but I am so blessed to have wonderful friends who helped make it easy: Janet was in charge of the fruit, Marilee took care of the punch, Sharla did all the decorations, Rachel made the powerpoint of photos, and Joan took care of coffee. Each of them had other people helping, so it went together quickly and turned out great. My job was the cakes.

It was so nice to see old friends from Kimball Free Methodist Church, and a number of Andrew's old HS friends came by too, as well as a number of our Wycliffe colleagues.

The fruit stack was an absolute work of art!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

55 Years

I drove Rachel down to the court house again today and Andrew and Laura picked her up at 4:30 after the punishment trial had ended. (Yes, the newlyweds arrived late last night and will be here for 10 days.) It was sad to hear how much trouble a person can get into in 20 years, including drugs at 11, stealing a car at 12, up through armed robbery at 20, including over 100 other charges while a juvenile. The daddy of a baby born last Thursday will be in prison for the next 55 years.

I think this has been an educational experience for Rachel, and I know it has been an emotional one. She felt pretty stressed by the experience, but handled it pretty well.

She will probably also remember to check her purse more closely next time, since they confiscated an eyeglasses screwdriver and the file off of a large nail clipper. Whoops! Of course, those things had been in her purse through all the air travel to the DR a couple weeks ago, but nevermind...

Monday, August 22, 2005



Wouldn't you know it, she got picked. The trial is actually only to determine a sentence, not a innocent or guilty verdict. It will last 2-3 days. She's not allowed to talk about it until after the trial is over, so I better stop here (I sat in the court too, to pass the time waiting for her).

At 11pm tonight we are expecting the newlyweds to arrive at DFW.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Vicarious Jury Duty

When Gary got a jury summons, I drove him downtown and helped him fill out the paperwork, due to is legal blindness (which, BTW, did not exempt him from serving we found out, although being deaf does). I sat there all day with him.

Now Rachel got a summons, and since she doesn't drive much, I'm taking her there tomorrow, to Dallas county criminal courtin downtown Dallas. I'll have to be prepared to sit with her all day.

And, of course, I've done this several times for my own summonses over the years. Lots of sitting, along with one murder trial.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Preying Mantis at the Park

Last night we had a picnic at a local park to farewell a couple kids on their way back to college. It was a hot Texas night, but pleasant watching the golden sun set on one side and the full moon rise on the other.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Poisonwood Bible

It took me nearly three weeks, but I just finished reading The Poisonwood Bible which I had been wanting to read for several years. I borrowed the fat hardback copy from the library and dragged it to the DR--always time to read on airplanes.

It is a book worth reading for any missionary, so many things will resonate. But the "bad guy" in this book, The Father, is an exaggerated caricature of a bad missionary--I have never met a missionary as clueless as this character.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

If I Only Had A Brain

While at Family Day at the Baylor College of Medicine, we were given an anatomy demonstration. Afterwords, they passed out gloves and invited us to come have a closer look. Rachel had a chance to see what a cerebellum looks like up close and personal and we were able to use a real prop to explain a bit more about her birth defect (cerebellar hemiatrophy).

Saturday, August 13, 2005

A Short Trip to Houston

white coat

It takes 4.5 hours to drive to Houston, about an hour more than it used to take on our trips to OKC. We got there yesterday afternoon in time for a trip to Super Target to buy David a bunch of "getting settled" stuff for his new home--mostly food, and some housewares too. Then we rushed off to his White Coat Ceremony where he recited an oath with his 160 fellow students and then donned his new "short" white coat. During the evening I learned the difference between a short white coat and a long one. Rachel leaned what "don" means. Gary learned what Command strips are. David learned where the auditorium is. A very educational weekend for us all.

After the ceremony we went again to Super Target and bought a bunch more stuff. We didn't stay up late as we were all too tired after spending all that money and smiling for all those photos. Gary and I slept on a blow-up bed on the floor in the living room--not bad, but some air did leak out during the night.

Then we were off again for Family Day: a fancy breakfast, several short lectures about med school, an anatomy demo, and then a fancy lunch. Then another long drive home, but we made it home by 7pm.

David has a long stretch ahead of him in Houston, at least 7-8 years. Pray with us that he will get settled soon, find some friends, do a good job with his studies, and find a church soon.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Half Sick

It seems we must have brought some little bug home with us from our trip. First Rachel was sick, then a day and a half later, I started feeling lousy. Then we got an email from Grandma and Grandpa saying they had it--flu symptoms, listlessness, and some fever.

Yesterday I discovered that our phone service had been disconnected! It took some searching of my memory, but then I realized that the problem stemmed from the time our credit card was suspended by our bank due to a security risk, and apparently my call to the phone's customer service folks in early July didn't quite do the trick. So this morning I used Rachel's cell phone to call them and pay the bill for June (the bill for July had already been paid). A few hours later the phone was working again.

Tomorrow we are looking forward to going to Houston to see David's new condo and then attend his white coat ceremony and Family Day to celebrate his start of medical school. We are trying to pull together some used furniture, housewares, and food to take to him as a housewarming gift.

When I was at the warehouse looking for free used furniture for him, I found a "new" couch for us. Today I removed the cushion covers and washed them and mended a few holes. Now I have a new old couch which is in a bit better condition than my old old couch.

I also am proud to report that yesterday I installed a new cut off-valve and inlet pipe for the toilet in the apartment, and, believe it or not, no leaks!! I couldn't have done it without first getting detailed advice from the salesman at Home Depot.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Dancing is not a skill I grew up with, but there were plenty of opportunities to learn on our trip.

Mariachi at the rehearsal dinner.

First dance by the new couple.

I even got dragged into trying.

Some random guy gave Rachel a twirl around.

Grandma Judy remembered how to do the jitterbug.

Monday, August 08, 2005



Many things did not go as planned during our trip to the DR, some were funny and others weren't. Rachel's golden slipper broke while we were at the country club a hour before the ceremony. There was a very helpful young man there who nailed it back together and even put it back on her little foot.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Andrew and Laura's Wedding

Andrew and Laura's wedding

He did it! One down, two to go.

We arrived home at midnight last night (1am by body time) from our week in the Dominican Republic. It was quite an experience--with many language and culture challenges for us, to say nothing of the feeling that we were taking your life in your hands every time we went somewhere by road.

The bride was even more beautiful than she normally is, the bridesmaids were lovely, Andrew had many of his college and grad school friends attend, and the wedding started only 7 minutes late. (This, actually, was a miracle, but I won't go into that just now.:-) The reception was top rate, if a bit more fiesta than our deadpan family is used to.

Pray with us that Andrew and Laura will put the Lord first in their life together, as they will face even more challenges than a "normal" couple with a cross-cultural marriage and living in yet a different culture in Ethiopia.