Friday, February 29, 2008

Winter is Definitely Not Over

It doesn't seem that I am missing out on winter. It is alive and well. They said we were supposed to be getting 10cm/ 4in, but I think we have already gotten that much and it's still falling. Kind of makes we want to sing "I Dreaming of a White Christmas." (Rebekah just so you know, Christmas is only 300 days away.)

As I was driving home from work I saw a Greyhound Coach fishtail around a corner, I can't say I have ever seen that before. I wonder what the passengers were thinking. I also saw a semi truck spinning it's tires like crazy trying to get up a small hill. I never would have believed that we would get a snow storm like this on the last day of February. I used to wish that we would get snow like this at this time so that I could go sledding on my Birthday. I have also heared that about an hour away it is raining, I have not had that confirmed though.

I saw this on my way to work this morning thought it was kind of funny.I guess they don't want kids playing on their snow pile.

I love driving through here this time of year.

If you look really close I think you can see reindeer tracks on the roof.
(Look closer.)

Our driveway is under there somewhere.

I have been hearing from several people that they are just ready for winter to be over. I don't think it is all that bad, but I guess I haven't got to enjoy as long as some people.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Marika

It is my oldest niece's birthday today and she is turning five. I am sorry this is my fifth post in a row without any pictures. Maybe some of you are like me I don't like reading a book unless it has lot of pictures. (Well I used to be that way maybe not so much anymore, I'm still not a big reader though.)

I guess I didn't freeze today because I am able to blog. I think my boss was colder then I was, but that is probably because I dressed up like someone going on an expedition to the North Pole. I sure was warm even though I did look a little like a snow man.

Thanks so much for your prayers, it seems like I might finally be getting my tickets booked for flying with in Mozambique. The Wilcox’s have offered to book them from their end and also get me a place to sleep during my 22 hour layover in Maputo, Mozambique. I will have been traveling for two days by the time I arrive there, with still one more day to go.

Some of you are probably thinking that I just have it made getting to travel all over the place and see different countries and try to new foods. Your right I am blessed but I would like it much better if I could just be emailed or faxed to these place, because sitting on planes for hours and then waiting in airports, is really exciting, for about the first three times. Please don't get me wrong I am so thankful for the opportunities God gives me and if it means I have to sit in airplanes and airports for hours and hours I am all for it, but it might not be as fun as some might think.

I am really looking forward to going to Mozambique even though I do have that length of travel time. I should probably be looking at it as having many opportunities to share Christ. I will always be around people they will be seeing the way I act and hearing the words I speak, so maybe you could pray that I would be sensitive to the people whose hearts the Lord has been stirring and that I would have the words to speak as He gives the opportunity.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

You can now post Anonymous Comments

I am sorry I wasn't aware that it was so hard to post comments on my blog. My sister in-law just brought it to my attention. I have changed the settings now. Hope to hear from you soon.

First Day Back to Work

This morning it was -10 C / 22 F that is only a forty degree difference from what it was when I left Mexico. Yes I am still glad to be home, but also glad that I will only be in the cold for about three weeks before I get to go some where warm again.

I got to work inside today. My boss started laying hard wood flooring upstairs in his house about a month ago, but he has back trouble and a couple friends of his died so he has had a lot of hold ups. He got the hallway and master bedroom finished and there were still three bedrooms to do. I completed one of them today which was about 130 square feet. As you can imagine I was floored to be back at work. (Sorry about that I could resist.) I really do enjoy laying hard wood as long as I don't have to do it for to long at one time. I get to work outside tomorrow and it is only supposed to be -8 C/24 F. I don’t think I will freeze, but if I don’t post tomorrow you will know why.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I am home.

I arrived home this morning just after 5am. The roads were snow covered so I took it slow on the way home. I was blessed to have three seats to myself, so I laid down and sleep the whole flight from Denver to Detroit. It was a good thing because John had been at the airport since 9pm and I arrived at 12:30am and he hadn't got much sleep so he wanted me to drive home. We had a great time getting caught up on the happenings at work since I left. Sounds like there is plenty to do before I leave in three weeks. I was going to go into work today but I decided not to and I didn't end up getting up till about 11am, this is not common practice just so you know. I got everything unpacked and opened the mountain of mail I had from over the seven weeks while I was gone.

Now I have to continue making arrangements for leaving for Mozambique and Lord willing I will be going to India during July and August with Teen Missions and I have paper work for that I have to get finished up before I leave again. Seems there is always plenty to do, but that is good I like being busy.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I am in Denver

Well it is 6:30pm in Denver I arrived here about 5:30 from Puerto Vallarta and it was snowing when we landed. James, Corinne, Andrew and I left Santiago this morning at 7 and went to Tepic and had breakfast with Don and Berna. Don came with us to Puerto Vallarta as well as Sandy she is a young girl from Tepic. They were going to be picking up two people who were flying in. One is a friend of Corinne's and the other is a friend of Sandy's.

Every think went well accept for a little problem just as we were leaving Tepic (We will leave that alone though right James.) It was a slow drive to Puerto Vallarta it is one lane and very curvy so it is hard to pass slow trucks.

I was able to get a little sleep on my first flight hopefully I can get some more on the next flight because I won’t be home before 3am Tuesday morning. My boss has been so kind to offer to come and pick me up. Thanks so much John.

We will be boarding here in about 20 minutes and I thought I would take advantage of the free wireless here. Looking forward to be home in a few hours.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Second Last Day in Mexico

This morning we went up to Tepic and picked up Don and Berna and went out for breakfast with them at a nice Swiss Cafe.

Levi wearing James sunglasses

Clockwise from left: Levi, Berna, Don, James, Simon, Nelly, Natalia, Andrew (Sorry you can only see his arm and leg) and Corinne

After breakfast Don, James, Levi and I went to find a fridge for the new burger stand, while the ladies and the childs went back to Don and Berna's house. We had ordered a fridge on Thursday that was supposed to come today. They called this morning and said that it had a dent and maybe we should come by and see it before they delivered it. Well the dent was the smallest problem. It was supposed to be new but it was dirt and scratched and showed a lot of sign of use. It was way out of square and the sliding doors wouldn't close, so we didn't get it.

We went to a few other appliance stores and finally found a fridge that would work. James and Don had a few other things they needed to get, so I rode with the guy from the appliance store to show him where Don's house was. When he tide the fridge on he just put one rope over the top of the fridge. The fridge is just over six feet high and about two feet square. We thought that he would put a rope around the fridge, so that it couldn't tip over, but we also figured that this guy must move a lot of appliances and should know how to tide them down. Well we were almost to Don's house and the fridge fell with the front down. The appliance guy was not a mite bit happy. We stood it back up and drove to Don's place and I called James. We figured that we would still take the fridge it had some damage but we took it back and we were able to replace the damaged parts. That was how I spent a good part of my afternoon.

Berna made a great chicken dinner for us then we got the plumbing pretty well done and the electrical finished. It all takes a lot of time but it is turning out well.

On the left is the window where they will take orders.

The grill at the front and a deep frier on the right.

The table on the outside with the holes is for containers to hold all the burger toppings.

Natalia and I becoming good friends.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Kitchen is Finished.

Thursday morning James and I went up to Tepic and picked up Don and we had to get a whole bunch of supplies for the new burger stand. We spent all day getting the stuff and there is still a little more we still need. At about 6:30pm we were finally able to pick up the burger stand from the shop were they were do the modifications on the trailer. We took it over to Don's place which is just down the street from where they will be opening the burger stand. We got back here to Santiago just before 10pm. We wanted to finish the cupboards. We had twelve doors to hang and seven drawer fronts to install. We figured it would only take about two hours. After Corinne went out and got us some tacos we went to work and what do you know it took us longer then we thought, once again. We finished just before 4am. Again we had a long day and a short morning.

It looks pretty nice doesn't it? Well this is what the kitchen looked like when they first moved in. It was termite infested and falling apart.

A year and a half later this is what it looks like. James and I had made the cupboards back in Sept of 06 but didn't get any doors or drawers made at that time.

They still need to get a tile back splash over the counter.

Friday again we went up to Tepic and helped Don does some work on the burger stand. We installed 14 pot lights along the side of the trailer and put outlets and lights inside and started on some of the plumbing. We were only able to be there for about three hours because we had to be back in Santiago for Children's meeting and Ministry meeting. James and I were both just about falling asleep on the way home. These three and four hour nights are starting to get to us a little. I think we are done working the 19 hour days now.

It is nice to be able to leave and have the projects that I started finished. That is why I came back this time so soon because when I left last time I was only half done what I had started. I only have two days left here and I will be returning to the cold North. I am pretty sure that I am going to freeze, so pray for me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Long Days, Short Nights

Monday we spent the whole day from about 9am till midnight making the rest of the cupboards doors and drawer fronts and some shelves. It is amazing how time consuming this cupboard making business is. James and I are quite enjoying it and having a lot of fun while we are working.

Tuesday we had to make a few more shelves and make the light valance for under the upper cupboards. We had to varnish twelve doors, seven drawer fronts and a bunch of shelves. We had all the varnishing done by about 11pm. Then we just started installing the upper cupboards. We had put some of the uppers up about a year and a half ago but we put them to high so we had to lower them then hang the cupboards over the stove. We installed the range (exhaust fan over the stove) and put the light valance on. It looks really cool we put pot lights under the upper cupboards shining down on the counter. Maybe it doesn't sound like that much work but we started Tuesday morning at 9:30 and we work for 19 hours straight and finished at 5am this morning.

Freshly varnished doors

The upper cabinet for over the stove and some drawer fronts drying after being varnished.

We were having company over for lunch today so we knew that we couldn't be working in the kitchen during the day and it just made sense to do the work in the kitchen at night when no one else was around. We then got almost three hours of sleep and got up had breakfast and then drove up to Tepic for our fastest trip to Tepic ever. We left here at 10am and we were back by 1:15pm and it takes an hour driving either way and usually it is a minimum of about four or five hours round trip.
James is having another burger stand made and one of the Christians in Tepic is going to run it for him. The burger stand was supposed to be done and we were going to pick it up. But surprise, surprise it wasn't done, so it is supposed to be done tomorrow afternoon. We also had to get a few more hinges and door hands for the cupboards doors. We made it back just before the Cains (One of the other missionary families that live in Tepic) got here for lunch. We had a good time together this afternoon before the children’s meeting and ministry meeting this evening.

Well I have about four more days here. Lord willing the cupboards will be finished. They still would like to have a tile back splash put in over the counter sometime and a few more jobs that need to be done that will have to wait till next time, whenever that maybe.

Here are a few random pictures of the boys

Simon wearing my hat.
Simon, Andrew and me playing with Mega blocks.

This is why they don't often ask me to feed the boys.

From Left to Right: Sammy Cain, Levi, Me Simon and Andrew

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Record

With in a fifteen minute period I had people from Israel, Germany, Spain, Macedonia, United Kingdom, Italy, Argentina, French Guiana, Portugal, Mexico, Canada and USA sign on to my blog. Hey if you are from these countries feel free to leave a comment and let me know how you heard about or came across my blog, I would find it interesting.

Thanks Andrew

A Few Days Left and A Lot of Work

I have one week left and we are kind of feeling the crunch now. Yesterday we got the vanity installed in the bathroom. We had to clamp the edge on the vanity counter top. As you can see that was quite the under taking but it worked well. We finally got to use the shower last night for the first time.

We just have to varnish the edge and it will be finished

The finally finished bathroom

After finishing the bathroom we hung all the doors we had made for the kitchen. Then we made another nine doors to finish the lower cabinets and for the uppers cupboards that are already made. It was another late night or I guess early morning is more like it, but we really want to have the kitchen done by the time I leave, so we have to do whatever it takes. We still have to make the cupboards to go over the stove and all the drawer fronts.

James installing some doors

We are really happy with the way the doors are turning out. This is really the first time for either of us making cupboard doors. God is good and He has given us the abilities to do this. We have been joking and saying that we should think about going into cabinet making, in our spare time.

I would appreciate your prayers as I am trying to contact the airline in Mozambique that I will be flying with inside the country. I have not yet been able to make final arrangements and book my tickets and I should do that soon.

Friday, February 15, 2008

God's Travel Plans

Thursday morning we left at about 7am to take James brother and his wife and three daughters to the Airport to fly back to Canada. We first went up to Tepic and went out for breakfast with Don and Berna. We left Tepic around 9:30 and it took us about three hours to get to Puerto Vallarta. We arrive at about 2pm and their flight was supposed to leave shortly before 3. They went to check in and the person at the counter told them they couldn't let there youngest daughter on the plane because she didn't have a passport. She was only four weeks old when they left Canada and there was no way that they could have gotten a birth certificate and a passport in that short time so they just had a letter from the city she was born in saying that she really was who they said she was. That had worked fine to get down here but there was no way for them to get her into the states without a passport and they were supposed to be flying through the states. For a while we weren't sure if they would be leave or not. I had prayed and asked God to work this out, because there was nothing that we could do that was going to change the situation. Finally United Airlines said that they would transfer their tickets over and put them on a direct flight to Toronto with Air Canada. It ended up working out so much better for them and they got in two hours sooner then their other flight would have. God is so good, He knows the out come and we just have to trust Him and know He has the plans all made.

We didn't get back here to Santiago till just before 11:30pm. We had to do a few things in Puerto Vallarta before we left and then we had to stop in Tepic on the way back, so it made for one long day. We still had to go and pick up the burger stand and we got to bed around 12:30 am.

Friday morning we left at 7:30am to go back up to Tepic. We had to get charcoal for the burger stand as well as some more plywood for the cupboards. We also had to try and find some sealer for the tiles in the bottom of the shower. We did find some and I got the tiles sealed this afternoon when we got back.

I think I need to make it an early night tonight because I am feeling a little sleep deprived.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Varnishing Doors

Today was spent varnishing cupboard doors and trying to recover from our aches and pains from jumping yesterday. We figured it out and it was a 56ft jump. Yes we agree it was crazy, but if we had the chance we would probably do it again.

We bought a sprayer and we are spraying the varnish on all the doors and they are coming out really well. We have one coat on all of them and they are sanded and we have done one side with the second coat. We hope to finish the second coat on the other side still this evening.

We are off to Puerto Vallarta tomorrow morning to take James brother and his wife to the airport.

The artist at work.

Just so you know all the cases of Coke in the garage are for the burger stand. We don't hardly drink any of them.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Day at the Waterfall

Today we went to a waterfall that James and I went to last time I was here. James wanted to take his brother before he leaves on Thursday. You have to drive for about 45 minutes back into the mountains to get there. It is a beautiful spot. Unfortunately there wasn't any water falling. They are in the dry season now and haven't had any rain for several months so that is why.

We had a great time jumping from the rock. We were jumping from about 50ft at the highest place, none of us had ever jumped from that high, but we sure got a good rush. The part of me that I sit on is very sore from jumping from the highest spot three times. Anyways we were gone for about eight hours and had a very nice time.

Can we make it to the peak?

Some horses trying to find some green grass.

This boulder almost fell it's a good thing I caught it.

This is where we were jumping. You can kind of see three wet strips down the rock and we were jumping from the top of the middle one. The water was very clean, but a little on the cool side.

This is what it looked like last time we went.

A couple silhouettes of me.

Here are a couple more pics of Natalia. She is adjusting to this new world. Maybe not adjusting as fast as some would like. Not much sleep that first night which is normal I guess, so they say, what do I know about it. Anyways she is really cute and I hope to get to hold her here sometime soon.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Info About the Mozambique Trip

The Country Flag

Mozambique is on the South East coast of Africa just west of the island of Madagascar. It is one of the nine Portuguese speaking African countries out of all 54 countries on the continent. It has a population of over 19 million. Back several years ago I think it ones one of the poorest if not the poorest countries in the world. They have faced many floods over the past several years which have left many homeless and many have also lost their lives.

I booked my tickets this evening so Lord willing I will depart from Detriot March 19 and fly into Maputo the capitol of Mozambique on March 21. I will have about a 22 hr lay over there before I continue to fly North to Lichinga which is just west of Lake Malawi in the Northern part of the country.

I will be staying with the Wilcox Family who are missionaries originally from Australia. They are working with Iris Ministries, in Lichinga, Mozambique. You can see Lichinga very well if you look it up on Google Earth, incase you are interested. I don't know a lot about the ministry there, but I am looking forward to learning first hand here in a little over a month. If you would like to read more about their work check out their website

The Wilcox Family

This is their newly finished home, but they are still working on the interior.

Here is a list of projects that they are hoping to finish this year. I am looking forward to being able to partner with the Wilcox and help with some of these projects.


*Construction of a primary school at the children's center "Joy Village."
*Bible School for leadership training
*Construction of 2 more 'Orphan Girl' cottages
*Construction of multipurpose room and community dining hall
*Construction of administration office
*Construction of long-term missionary houses
*Construction of visitor's housing
*Well digging
*Agricultural project on government given land.

Yes there is a lot to do so if you have some time and you feel like God would have you help out in someway, you could get in touch with the Wilcox and they would be more then happy to have you come. I would appreciate your prayers for this up coming trip. It seems I am stepping out into the unknown, which is a little unnerving, but also thrilling to see how God works and what He has for me to learn.

P.S. Just incase anyone doesn't know you can leave a comment at the end of any of my blogs. Just click on the comment link and drop me a know and let me know how you are and that you dropped by. I kind of liked it went I was sending out emails because I got emails back sometimes but now I don't hear from you anymore.

It's A Girl

Natalia Nelly Dyck was born this morning at 4:47am. She weighs 7lb 14oz. Nelly went into the delivery room at 4:32 and Natalia came at 4:47. They were back here at the house by 8:45am. We were supposed to be having breakfast in Tepic this morning with some friends and then lunch at someone else’s place but the plans have changed a little with a new life here.

A proud mother.