Approaching the Holidays

Sounds and sights of Christmas are all around in the Philippines. Christmas music starts playing in the malls September first and decorations go up with increasing lavishness as each "ber" month goes on in the Philippines. Now that it's November, the music is about 99% Christmas music in the malls. "Advanced Merry Christmas" is said frequently by clerks at stores and Filipino friends.

This is a lighted tree made of wood, wire, and Christmas lights outside of Victoria Plaza in Davao.

Decorations inside SM Ecoland, another mall in town.

I'm preparing to have all the single teachers over for a USA Thanksgiving meal on November 23. I've done this every year here and it is quite fun. Even preparing is fun as turkeys are not always easy to find!

But all this holiday preparation, decorations, festive lighting has ignited a meloncholy of missing my daughters.

This picture of me with Mikayla and Kirsten was taken this past summer when Ben and I were in the states for eight weeks.

It's hard to be split apart from loved ones anytime, but the felt-angst deepens at the holiday times.

I am thankful for the true Light of the world, our loving Savior, counselor, and redeemer who is our high priest, "....able to sympathize with our weaknesses," I draw near Him to receive "mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4: 14 - 16)

He understands a mom's heart hurting from being apart from her young adult daughters. Both of them are doing well and I am thankful for that.

Just makes the holidays meloncholy to be apart.

ISAC Update

Ben really enjoys playing volleyball. He wants to continue playing when we get to the states (hopefully July 2018).

The Faith International Teams (boys and girls) each came in third place in the International Schools Athletic Competition recently held in Manila for volleyball - both boys and girls teams. This is quite an honor.

Ben also received an "All ISAC" award for playing so well. Here are pictures of him in action! Boy, he jumps high!!!

VolleyBall ISAC 2017

Three times a year, the athletes from the school our kids attend travel to the International Schools Athletic Competition for tournaments. Today the girls and boys high school volleyball teams traveled up to Southville International Academy in Manila for tournaments that start tomorrow and run through Saturday. It is a fun and competitive event our athletes enjoy attending. Ben is there and I'll keep you posted how the teams are doing.

Photo of the athletes and coaches in the airport prior to leaving Davao for Manila!

Fall Break 2017

We have had a week off from school for the fall break and end of first quarter. It was a much needed break and we enjoyed time as a family together and at the beach. Here are a few photos from our week:

We discovered a rock climbing and archery area within a local mall. That was enjoyable.

We spent a day at a local beach with some friends and another day on a boat trip which included snorkeling and beach time. Fun, relaxing, and rejuvenating times.

An old basketball hoop and some fallen coconuts make for fun coconut basketball.

Tired after a day of swimming, sun, and beach fun.

Utilities

At times we have water and power outages. Some years are worse than others. This year we haven't had many. But what I always find humorous is that on the electric company website and on the water company website there are tabs to check on scheduled and emergency outages of water and power.

I'm just guessing but don't think the utility companies in our passport country have such tabs!

This is just one of the many differences living in a developing country as opposed to a first-world country. It is an item of humor not of complaint.

Rev. 7:17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water...