This is Me!

This is Me! The good, the bad, and the bald. You get it all! But I have hair now. This spring I'll be rockin the pixie.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Update from Mexico!

I thought about rewriting this in my own words but felt like it would be better for you to see and feel their hearts instead.

!Hola a todos!

Things have been going well so far in our trip We got settled in down here in Mexico on Friday. Then Saturday we spent the afternoon with the kids at the orphanage making friends, watching movies, and playing games (I'm not sure if our team can handle anymore Hi-Ho Cherry-O or Memory). On Sunday the team had the opportunity to visit a Mexican church and afterwards had a great time handing out care packages at a local migrant community as well a presenting the community with a futbol (soccer ball) kick challenge, which the peole enjoyed immensely.

Yesterday, we began our work projects. Monday we worked on cleaning and maintaining some of the ditches that the team had worked on last year. Today, we worked on finishing a retaining wall that another team had begun and putting in a drainage pipe next to it. Later in the week we will be building a sidewalk around one of the houses that is under construcion where, in the future, they plan on housing more orphans.

We also began our Bible school yesterday. Our team did puppets, drama, and worked on making crafts with the kids. It has been chaotic with 38 kids trying to print pictures and paint t-shirts... not to mention Justin splitting open the front of his pants during a heated soccer game. Also, some kids from an indigenous tribe whose families are migrant workers in the area have been coming to our Bible school. They are extra shy and don't speak any Spanish (let alone English), so it is a challenge to make them feel comfortable. Yesterday was the first time they had ever seen a photograph and they could not stop giggling at the pictures of themselves.

God has been evident in our trip. The youth have really been challenged to be "living sacrifices" to God (Romans 12:1). They have also shared that they have been impressed and challenged by people who are so happy with so little.

Please pray for us this week as we continue work projects and vacation Bible school. Specifically, you can pray for our team's health. Jeremiah was sick at the beginning of the trip and even had to stay home and rest a day, but is almost back to normal now. Tristan is feeling a little stuffy and has a sore throat. Justin has felt a little under the weather too. Please pray that the cold/cough doesn't spread to the rest of the team, especially with all the dust aggrevating allergies already.

Thank you all for your continued prayer and support. We have seen God working so far and know that he will continue to work throughout the trip.

Love, The 2010 BCF youth Mexico mission trip team.

It is great to hear from them and see how God is working. Let's continue to keep them in our prayers and anticipate seeing how God chooses to use them all the rest of the week.

Phillipians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

And Then There Were Three

Tristan made it safely to Urapan. The flexible plan was to arrive Friday afternoon and get settled in, spend Saturday getting aquainted and playing with the orphans, and Sunday was to be church "Mexico" style which usually means several hours of worship, fellowship and service. The week is to be spent on some work projects, doing VBS and community outreach.

How are we surviving without Tristan? Mark and I are good. As for the rest of the troops... Gavin is really missing his big brother. He is struggling with who he is without Tristan. I think he also is feeling like now I am the big kid and I am not really sure what that looks like. Terin seems to be doing fine. She misses him but is very independent. Payton, ah sweet little Payton. She too misses big brother a lot. Probably the most. Several times she has come to me and said, "I miss Tristan." I reply "I know you do. I do too. You come tell me everytime you think about him and we will stop and think of one thing to pray for him together. Okay?" This seems to help her. She loves praying for him and the others on the team.

A lot of people have asked how we are surviving being one less in the family or how is it with him gone. I was thinking about that on Friday. Gavin was acting differently and I was really struggling to work this out in my mind. What exactly is going on for Gavin and how would I feel if I were in his size 9 1/2 shoes. I spent time praying and asking God to help me with this one cause I was feeling pretty lost. I am not sure if I ended up getting this right or not but here is the conclusion I felt he led me to. While the team is gone, while Tristan is gone our family needs to be doing "more than just surviving life." We need to be living! This means carrying on with normal activities. I need to plan fun things to do with the other three kids. After all, they are very much still here and need me to not just be counting down days till Tristan is safely home. They need me to be mom and help them actively wait.

With this in mind I have set out to be more purposeful over the next 8 days. I am looking for opportunities to enjoy Gavin, Terin, and Payton. My late nights have been spent with Gavin and the Crib board. He does love a good game of Cribbage then again, so do I. If my eyes appear to be bloodshot in the not so early mornings, you'll know the reason why. Terin and I have been working ourselves with nightly jogs. This girl loves to have one on one time and chat and a nightly jog has been the perfect source for both. She and I also did a bit of berry picking out at Boxx's. Payton and I, well we both enjoy a good book and a snuggle on the couch with comfy blankets (even if it is way too warm for them). We also like to walk the gardens together in the morning and we enjoy spending time together in the kitchen cooking up a new recipe or two. That's been very delicious.

As a family we joined Tom, Cari, Tucker and his friend for an afternoon of bowling on Saturday. Can I just say that a few of us need some serious extra practice. Now, when I say practice, I am guessing your thinking bowling practice cause this seems natural right? Wrong! Actually that is not what I mean at all. We learned two key elements all true bowlers should aspire to add to their technique. First - in order to truly be a great bowler and demonstrate the high level of skill of someone like ... oh I don't know I don't watch bowling but anyway to truly be great it is all about "the pose" after you have released your ball. Watching the unargueably professional bowlers beside us we gleaned that ballet lessons are probably in order. The pointing of the toe seemed critical to the overall look. The graceful arc in the arm as it swept up into the air was amazing. and the extension on his leg was truly astounding. A sight to behold for sure. Secondly - We observed that the longer you hold said "pose" the better your chances of actually hitting multiple pins. And for an extra little finishing touch if you add in the "jump hop" at the end... Bingo! You are sure to score big! In our case it just may be easier, cheaper and safer to just join the kids and use the bumpers. Yikes. We laughed and enjoyed ourselves very much.

That afternoon I read my books with a rice bag on my should and wrist, at night I enjoyed my run without my right arm and shoulder being involved, and I played crib smelling like Bengay. In the end it was all good and for the next 8 days, we will do much more than just survive life.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Time!

I can't believe the trip is here already and yet... I can. He has been practicing his lines, reading his assignments, and working hard with the team to get ready. Now it's time.

We have begun to collect all his things and put them in one place. I had him gather up all his clothes, toiletries, and other items we got him for the trip and bring them to the dining room. The dining room tabletop has turned into the packing checklist station. I helped him go through his check list and make sure it was all there. Let's see

clothing - check

  • work shoes and gloves - check

  • shampoo and soaps - check

  • water bottle and sunscreen - check

  • hat and sunglasses - check

  • bible and journal - check

  • bedding and money - check

  • diabetes supplies - check

  • back up diabetes supplies - check
  • mom's faith - oh wait
I know it was here somewhere. At least I thought I had it, then the days started getting closer and the sugar numbers started creeping up a little higher. I received the flight departure information and time to be at the church. I got the emergency numbers of all the people in Mexico. I went over all the possibilities of a diabetes equipment malfunction and manual methods of insulin delivery with the youth pastor and his wife. We covered emergency situations, when to call the hospital, and worst case scenarios. Great! We have covered everything and I think I have everything else together. Now where did I put my faith? Did I put it with his travel documents? or maybe with his medical supplies? Did I pack it in my sock drawer with doubt and worry or hide it in the junk drawer with fear and anxiety? Oh no wait! I remember! I kept it somewhere safe gently tucked into the pages between Genesis and Revelation, where there would be constant reminders of others who have gone before me with faith for their children like Abraham and Isaac, Hannah and Samuel, and Mary and Jesus. All of these parents had to choose to walk in faith. And what great examples they were.

They stuffed their bags last night until they came close to the magic number, 50lbs. They got all of the puppets, VBS supplies, and extra bibles squished into place and set their bags aside for today.
We met at the church, took lots of pictures, and Pastor Ryoichi and Justin prayed with the kids.

We piled luggage and bodies into the cars and off to the airport we cruised. They got all checked in and sent half of their luggage on it's way. Not long now.

I had to run to the store. Tristan's Diabetes alert bracelet had broken. I zipped into Fred Meyer thinking surely they would have it. "NO!" The pharmacist said. "You'll have to order one." He doesn't know what he is talking about I think. I've gotten them at Walmart. We have time. Let's jet into Target. "No." This pharmacist confirms.
Gavin, Terin, Payton and I race back to say goodbye, hitting every red light and slow driver along the way. Dear Lord, I trust you, but can I at least say goodbye to my boy before I send him on this adventure? Can I hug him one more time before he steps foot on the plane to serve you? But, I will trust in you.

We made it in time. Thank you Lord. We gave big hugs all around as we said goodbye to the team. Little Payton with such a big tender heart. It was so hard to say goodbye to her big brother. We trust in you Lord because of your words to us in

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tristan's Wish Weekend

As you know, Tristan received a wish a few weeks back. We got to enjoy it this last weekend.

Our adventures began at the Museum of Flight. This place is huge! We are talking full size SR71 Blackbird huge. There were so many planes and space exploration vehicles. Very impressive. We got to walk through the very first Airforce One and one of the Concorde jets and the hands on simulators were a huge hit too. I think only Tristan and I were able to successfully land the Space Shuttle. Better luck next time guys. Payton managed to come pretty close to the target in the hang glider simulator. She
even got closer than Mark. They also have an incredible WWI and WWII area. If you ever have the opportunity, I would highly recommend this place.

He got to pick one restaurant to eat at. His choice... RainForest Cafe of course. The food was good, the atmosphere was great, but I think if you were to ask Tristan what the best part was, he might say it was seeing this giant, sparkler topped, molten chocolate, ice cream filled volcano arrive in front of him and forgetting for a minute that he even had diabetes. Yes, we let him dive in and go for it. We all shared it actually. The tricky part of letting him have a chocolate fudge, cool whip covered, brownie smeared with peanut butter, and ice cream blitz is the carb counting. Lets see here burger - 60 carbs, diet coke - 0 carbs, fries - 45ish, brownie - ...... "hey mom, should I just count 200 carbs to be safe?" I guess we are getting pretty good at this because later that afternoon, his sugar was safely sitting at 139. And the memory for him, priceless.

As always, the hotel and pool were a favorite. I completely get why kids think staying somewhere other than home is so great. Especially if it is at the Embassy Suites. Who wouldn't love snacks in the evening, someone else making your bed, breakfast made for you AND cleaned up. We all had a really great time there. Swimming, games, movies, riding the elevator, pushing the alarm in the elevator, (Mark) enjoying all the tropical plants by the indoor waterfall and stream, and an endless supplies of virgin Margaritas.

We finished up our time with a quick visit to Pioneer Square in Seattle and Tristan's favorite rock store. To say he was grateful for the weekend would be an understatement. We all feel the same way. What a special gift and what a precious memory for all of us.

Next up on the agenda for this guy, Mexico! He leaves this Thursday. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Celebration of Joy

A few weeks ago, we enjoyed our end of the school year concert at HomeConnections. At the closing of the concert Mary Lyn Nair invited our family up onto the stage. They presented us with a plaque honoring our family for contributions to the American Diabetes Association through the School Walks that we have organized. We were very suprised and honored. Then they blessed Tristan with a special "Make A Wish" to recognize his struggles with Diabetes and encourage him to be who he was created to be no matter what obstacles he faces. This gift came from a foundation the Nairs as a family have recently created called "Rishis Gift Foundation." He choose a weekend in Seattle at the Embassy Suites and a visit to the Museum of Flight. We get to enjoy this gift together as a family starting this Thursday morning. We will drive down and play for 3 straight days!!! We will keep you updated hopefully with some fun pictures.

Until we leave, we have a great opportunity for Tristan and our family as well as yours to give back, and to join in the celebration. Tonight at 7:00pm at the Amadeus Project they are hosting a concert and art show featuring Rishi. Tristan will be participating both by singing and selling his art. Gavin is joining in the art show as well. Both boys are donating half of their sales to Rishis Gift Foundation. You can purchase a print of their art tonight at the concert or by leaving a comment on the blog or an email at Here is a sample or two of the art that will be available tonight.

Gifts like this don't take away the diseases themselves or replace broken bodies and minds with healthy ones. What it does, is recognize the struggle and the strength it takes to keep fighting and smiling when you are constantly battling something beyond your control. It gives the rest of us a chance to look outside ourselves to the lives of others and realize how blessed we are.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Who Am I?

I am a woman desiring to hear the call of God on my life in red italics letter days and plain black small print days. I am a wife learning to seek the leadership and direction of my husband and to trust in his decisions and encourage him through prayer. I am a helpmate who desires to help but is not always sure how or when. I am a mom filled with pride watching my boys grow into young men who love Jesus and are tender hearted enough to still be teachable. I am a momma to my girls who still make me sigh with joy when they jump into my arms and bury their heads in my neck for a hug and sign I L Y. To which I reply I L Y 2. I am a teacher who tries to impart first truth then knowledge and wisdom, discernment and problem solving into my 4 children. I am a sister to many who love the Lord and to some by God's family design for me. I am a sister who rejoices in a spirit filled healing and anticipates with prayer and thanksgiving a new life. I am a sister who loves, cries over, encourages, and prays for her siblings. I am a friend who desires depth of relation and truth, laughter and tears, and healing and growth together. I am a confident encourager in the Word and warrior to the fallen. I am a trustworthy, dependable, mathmatically inclined keeper of the monies of the church who finds joy in the excellence of the job. I am also at times an over committed, tired woman, who feels stretched too thin trying to accomplish unrealistic things for impure motives, attempting to control my days instead of surrendering them. I'm a little girl climbing back up onto her father's lap to find rest, unconditional love, restored hope, renewed energy, redeemed mind and the narrow path that leads to righteousness. I am a daughter of the risen King who chooses More Than Just Surviving Life... I choose victory.