March 30, 2018

We’re off work today so we’re off to see a movie, Paul the Apostle.  The movie theater serves pizza, so I guess that is what we’re having for lunch.

Micah is on spring break this week and he and his sister and mom are visiting Maureen for the week–the week that she had a birthday with a big zero at the end of it!  Sarah has kindly sent me some photos (click photos for a better view).


Andrew also sent a couple more photos from Ethiopia, including a giant slug and traffic jam he found himself in:

As it turns out, we invited some folks over for Easter dinner so I got to figure out how to make that happen when I’ll be at church from 7am-noon!



How Does God Speak?

March 26, 2018

My Sunday School class illustrated the answer:  (Click for a larger image so you can read the fine print)

In other news, Gary is safely home, no problems.  He is handling the jet lag a lot better than I would–of course, he can sleep sitting up and I’ve never figured out how to do that.

In still other news, the bluebonnets are starting to bloom and Rachel and I took a walk at the State Park this afternoon.  The temps were in the mid 80s.

Gary on His Way Home

March 23, 2018

Gary found free internet access at the new airport in Korea, and he had to send me a photo of the live forest INside the airport. So when I got his photo, I pressed the call button and he answered! So I got to talk to him and then we switched to video chat. Here’s proof of the video chat and the forest!  (We expect Gary’s flight to arrive tomorrow morning.)

Speaking of technology, Rachel and I attended a memorial service via live-stream this afternoon.  It was just like being at the church except I could drink a cup of tea during the service.  🙂

What’s Up/App in Tanzania?

March 22, 2018


Gary and I have recently started using the mobile phone app called WhatsApp. It is a program similar to Skype in a lot of ways, but works with phone numbers rather than usernames. It is a way to video chat, phone call, or text message with another user over the internet (not over cell network, like a cell phone call) so it works overseas where one might have internet but not a working phone.

Anyway, I’ve talked to Gary this way when he’s been traveling, and today I also talked to Andrew in Tanzania. He sent me some photos and I just decided to try to call him. And just like that, it worked! Not perfectly, because some times the voice connection cut out, but mostly it worked. Amazing.

Andrew is in Tanzania and Ethiopia while Fordham is on spring break and Holy Week. I don’t really know a lot of the details about what exactly he is doing (he had that conversation with Gary and I missed most of it), but he sent some cool photos. He has been wandering around like he’s on safari, but not having to pay the park entrance fees!  His project is with the Maasai cattle and sheep herders who are always looking for greener pastures (literally) so now they use cell phones to help in the process.  He says the work is going well and the goat ribs were tasty.

In other news, Gary is being beat down with too much work and not enough sleep, and no time to even enjoy the fact that he is in Thailand.  He comes home Saturday morning.  My job this week has been the usual, but also to figure out the details about signing up for Medicare.  I consider myself to be of at least average intelligence, but I’m sure finding all of the information confusing.  I have until April to figure it out. 🙂

Global Update

March 18, 2018

Gary left for Chiang Mai, Thailand on Saturday morning and I got an email saying he arrived safely about 10 hours ago and had finally found internet.

I also got a message and photo from Andrew–he had just landed safely in Tanzania! I didn’t know he was even going to Africa, or if I did know I had forgotten. After a week there he will go to Ethiopia for a second week.

Today’s other news was learning that Baby Emma (who is not such a baby anymore) ran almost half of a 5K race beside her mama, and then her mama carried her the rest of the way in a baby back carrier in the Shamrock Run. There is video proof they crossed the finish line, but the free version of WordPress won’t let me upload video, so I’ve posted a still from the video.   I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

David also sent me another cute photo of Emma who had built her own laptop computer 🙂

In other news, Rachel and I spent 3.5 hours shoe shopping today and came home after buying two bottles of water.

Spring Break Cake

March 14, 2018

Spring is a-comin’ here in Texas. I’m especially happy about that when I see Facebook photos of friends in Maine with a foot of new snow or hear that Andrew and Laura have just endured a third “Nor’easter” (which I guess means a storm in the north east??). I’ve put out my humming bird feeders and am waiting for the first arrival.

This week one of Rachel’s jobs is having spring break, but not the other one, so she gets 2 days off, but not 5.  Today she was late getting home because one of her kiddos fell on a table and blood gushed from a gash across his eyebrow.  Yes, Rachel remembered doing that herself a time or two, so she had lots of empathy and sympathy.  A nurse nearby applied butterfly strips while Rachel held the child.

I made a cake for a colleague’s retirement party this morning:

In other news, we finished our taxes and there was not good news.  But there was good news yesterday in that Wendell and Judy celebrated their 65th anniversary.  That is a lot of years.

Taxed by the Taxes

March 11, 2018

I took a vacation day–total misnomer–on Thursday to work on doing our and Rachel’s taxes. I also spent all day Saturday on them, except for time out to go to the airport to pick up Gary, returning from Germany.

He got home safely, a little late, with lots of stories about his visit to Sandra’s house, baby Anna, castles, snow, trains, etc.

After church today I went back to the taxing chore and now at 9:45 pm Rachel’s are done ($200 refund due to her poverty status), but still more work to do on ours. Perhaps my DIY attitude is preventing me from hiring someone else to do this chore–but really, should I have to hire someone to do what every US citizen is required to do??? Doesn’t seem right.

Anyway, we want to get ours done this week before Gary is off on another trip.

In other news, Happy Birthday to baby David! We talked to him for a few minutes on the phone. Emma is sick again–poor girl seems to have a lot of respiratory issues. My facebook feed showed this photo from 11 years ago!  This was before they were married.  Mali is still alive, but the last time I saw her, she was looking kinda old.

Friday Update

March 9, 2018

Let’s start this post with the cutest photo I’ve seen this week–David and Emma off the the Daddy-Daughter Dance.

Who knew Emma had a ready wardrobe of princess choices? She looks good as Belle, don’t you think?

Speaking of beautiful daughters, Rachel got a haircut yesterday.

In other news, Auntie Carol and I went to Ton’s for lunch today–my treat for her 70th birthday which is coming soon, but she’ll be out of the country so we had to celebrate early.  Speaking of out of the country, Gary should be home in less than 24 hours.  It has been a long two weeks, esp. because Rachel and I have both been sick while he was gone.

It turned to spring while Gary was gone.  The Bradford Pear trees are in full bloom and I’m waiting for my first humming bird to arrive.

We also had this fluffy visitor early yesterday morning, but he didn’t leave us with any fragrance this time.

Today’s Stuff

March 6, 2018

Well, some of it I won’t mention.

Besides that, after Rachel got out of work I drove her to the lab to have blood taken for a thyroid test. It seemed to be taking awhile then the door opened and they asked if anyone was here with Rachel Simons. I found her on the floor of the lab from fainting.  They pourede water on her face to revive her.

Then I did the laundry and for the 3rd time in 6 weeks, the laundry tub overflowed because a sock got sucked out the washer drain and then plugged the tub drain. Ugh!

The good news of today is that my coworker was happy that I brought her a surprise birthday cake.

We got our Wycliffe statements today and there were 13 donations of the same amount from the same person–apparently correcting a mistake from the last year when their donations intended for us went to someone else!  I hope that other person didn’t have a nasty shock on their statement!!

In other news, Gary sent this very cute photo of him with baby Anna.  They both look pretty happy and Sandra said the baby kept looking for him after he left.  🙂


And here is another but you have to look very hard to see Gary’s face through the train window.  Sandra’s mom is holding Anna.

So yes, Gary made it back to Holzhausen and is in his second set of meetings.  This week he in a different room and has a roommate.  He’s still trying to catch up on email but is having some connectivity issues with his tablet.

OK, off to bed.  I need to find time to start working on the taxes soon…I’ll ponder that while I’m sleeping.


March 4, 2018

Well, I didn’t blog much last week because I got sick. I had planned to take a couple vacation days to work on some of my own projects, but instead I took a couple sick days. I guess it is just the cold that Gary had last week, but I was pretty miserable Thurs-Saturday. I went to church today, but my voice is squeaky so taching Sunday School was a challenge, and singing in choir was nigh impossible.

Gary is spending a long weekend between his two work events at Sandra’s house in south Germany. She has had a baby, so here is a photo of our foreign exchange grandbaby!

I think Gary is getting the royal treatment while there–he sent a photo of having bread with special “breakfast chocolate” on it for the morning meal!  He sent more photos but I have no idea what they are, so they will have to wait til a later installment.

In spite of my cold I managed to send out an electronic update yesterday.  That means I should print out the email and mail it to a couple donors who aren’t on email.  Rachel has also been sick with unexplained nausea and increased tinnitus.  She went to the doctor, but it seems there was not much to do for her.

Spring has started here–the best time of year in Dallas.  I went for a 2-hour bird walk at the State Park this afternoon.  They’ve reopened some part of the park that were damaged 3 years ago, but the place is still pretty much a mess.


I apparently refound our rare yellow (instead of red) Ladderbacked Woodpecker today.  Last time we saw it was 11 months ago.