Thursday, March 25, 2010


Here is a link to Colton's blog:
Here is a link to Miranda's blog

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spreading the JOY

One of our passions while traveling is to try to spread love. One of the ways we do this is by finding a place where we can spend some time helping out in some small way. Usually we get way more out of "helping" others than we can possibly give. This trip the intentionally planned visits will be to two places. Both being small orphanages in Asia. The first one is called Home of Joy.

I met Kathleen from the Home of Joy when I was at a mission conference with my friend Sarah in N.Y. last fall. I talked to her there for  while and by the time our conversation was over. I put my face close to hers and said, Kathleen, I know you have met many people here this weekend. But look closely at my face because you will be seeing it again soon in Thailand.

When we had finalized our plans to go a month ago. I e-mailed Kathleen and reminded her of who I was and asked her if we could come and she said of coarse we could. So we will be traveling to Northern Thailand to the city of Chiang Mia, where we will try to bless Kathleen and the little orphans that live there. The last few times we visited orphanages we had so much fun. Colton and Miranda as so great with the little ones. Playing with them and showing them that they are loved. We will be bringing a few things to do with them while we are there. We can't wait to get there.

We will also be visiting an orphanage is Cambodia. This is a story from a woman who visited this orphanage call The Children of Hope in Cambodia.

 It’s hard to imagine that babies are sold for $10 on the streets of Cambodia.  Randy and his team do their best to bring in as many children as they can fit and feed.  Each day is a faith walk.  Sometimes Randy has no idea where they are going to get enough rice to feed the kids.  But somehow, it always comes.

But the love and support doesn’t stop with the Children of Hope.  There is also a Center of the Arts for teens and twenty somethings called Water of Life.  When the children are old enough, they can live here IF they commit to continuing their education.  Randy and his team of teachers (who are mostly local Cambodian twenty-something, young men that were once his first orphans) teach the kids piano, flute, guitar, singing, drawing, English, writing, computer skills, Internet tools of building websites, and some are even law students. These young men are AMAZING!  They have so much to give the world, and they work harder and study more than anyone I’ve ever known.
The stories go on and on.  All the boys and girls are miracles.  Some of their parents have died, but many of them have been given up because their parents can’t afford to feed the family.  They have experienced traumas that would cause them to sleep with the light on and the door locked for the rest of their life.  And yet, they have risked to love again—to let Randy and his staff in—to believe that there may be more to life than being abandoned—that there is a God of the impossible who loves, has not abandoned them and can heal the most broken of hearts. They are the living testimony that healing like this is real.  They look at you and smile.  They hug you and share their powerful stories, and then they share the hope they hold for their lives—I have never been so inspired in all my life.

We are so blessed to be able to go and meet Randy and the children that he so powerfully helps.  Please keep these places in your prayers and also pray that we can make an impact while we are there. 

Friday, March 12, 2010


There is NOTHING taught in the classroom that is more valuable than the lessons shared looking out the window of a long bus ride.

This is a statement I read from a family who sold all their positions and took off for a yearlong trip around the world. I wonder at this and think about how many people think the same way or think it is the dumbest thing in the world to do.

We are thought of by some people to be very weird. Yes, I have heard just that. I think that that is exactly right. We are a bit weird and that is just fine. It actually makes me smile.

So far we have never been in a position with our children’s education to have to make a huge decision regarding our travels and their school. We have taken trips where they have missed some school (a few weeks) but this time they will be missing the last 3 months of their year. The first thing we did before making this trip a reality was to sit down and talk with their principles, teaches and the many other teacher friends we know. Most people seemed to agree that this experience was worth the schooling time that they would be missing. I totally commend them for saying that. I also fully agree.

The thing about leaning is that we all learn in different ways. Our kids like lots of others learn by doing. They learn best by seeing things with their own eyes, and touching this with their own hands. This trip will be filled with so many things to learn by seeing and doing. I love that.

If you have ever spent time with Dean doing well, anything. You will know that doing things with Dean is like Survivor meets The Amazing Race. Life is always filled with very interesting and amazing things when Dean is in the lead. The kids and I are on a continuous journey of learning if Dean is around. Dean is a natural teacher and so everything we do is a learning experience. We are so lucky to have him as our dad and husband.

So far we have decided that their schooling will consist of tones of reading as we go, writing in journals every day, discussing our day and what we learned about the similarities and differences of where we are compared to what we know about home. We will concentrate on the local history of the location we are at, we will learn about the local currency and practice daily money exchange, we will spend a lot of time hiking and rock collecting where the kids and I will learn from Dean so much about animals, bugs, rocks, trees, plants and the environment. We will spend time in the water learning about the ocean and the fish that live there, we will learn about different languages and hopefully pick up a few words of Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese along the way.

The last piece of education that we may be lacking is the math. That is the part is a bit harder to do while on the move. Some options are to bring some type of math work with, not do it at all or to do math work to catch up when we get back in summer. At this point we will talk more with the teachers and come to a solution that will make the most sense for our kids.

The last part is that we love our kid’s teachers. We are so sad to not be able to have them teach our kids for the rest of the year. Our kids will miss them. The school system has been so entirely supportive of our whole travel choice. We find ourselves so fortunate to live in the town we do and have the amazing teachers and principals that we do.

So ya, many have asked this question and now you know. Any suggestions of how we could do things better are always welcome.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

the countdown has begun

Three more weeks! Three more weeks till we embark on the next whirlwind tour.

That's how I think about this trip and we haven't even left yet. I keep telling myself that this trip is NOT going to be as fast paced as all of our other trips. But then I start to look at all the things we want to see and do will be busy. At least until, May. Yup, in May we will slow down and relax. We will just park ourselves in an apartment on the beach somewhere and just hang out for at least...... a week.

Ha, who am I kidding?

Good news is, we have finished our house plans(haven't ordered anything yet), taxes, and started packing. We also have the first week of our trip planned and even booked hotels so we don't have to sleep on a beach somewhere in Hawaii!!