I have to laugh.

Kurt and I have been praying to simplify our life and also, hopefully, move into a lower rent house that still fits our family.
Moving would entail ridding ourselves of excess furniture and other things as most likely the house we rent will be smaller than the one we have now. I look forward to that. It is so easy to accumulate stuff, even without meaning to.

A week or so ago, while Kurt and some of the kids were watching a movie at night, the television quit working. It was a used TV when we picked it up from another missionary family over 4 years ago. I smiled and said "GREAT!" when Kurt told me the tv had died!!!!

Good bye, TV!!!!

Two days ago, while microwaving something, the microwave gave a loud pop and went black, no longer to work.

Good bye, microwave. I'm thankful for more counter space!

"Simplicity is the joyful unconcern for possessions we experience as we truly "seek first the kingdom of God and
his righteousness" (Matt 6:33). Persons living in simplicity realize freedom from anxiety by viewing possessions as gifts from God, remembering we are stewards to care for God's
gifts to us and making our goods available to others.
Simplicity is a declaration of war on materialism and it reorients our lives, perspectives, and attitudes.

To simplify means "To make 'simple' or 'simpler': as a : to reduce to basic essentials b : to diminish in scope or complexity" - Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary

Living a simplified life means learning "how to say yes to the things you want in your life and no to the things you don't want in your life - your life becomes simpler."

Anyway, it seems that part of the journey God has me on here in the mission field is to learn to prioritize what is truly important and let go of the non-essentials. This is both in relationships, choices on how to spend my time, and on material possessions.

I'll be blogging more about my journey and our family's journey into a more simplified lifestyle! Stay tuned!!!!!!

If you want to read more about simplifying life, check out these websites. There are many on the internet, here are a few:

Street Scene in Davao

Goats heading to market


Yesterday we had the opportunity to visit some friends of ours up in Tagum. They run a really neat, multi-faceted ministry. You can read more about their ministry at

Our friends, the Boada's. Val went to Taylor University
at the same time Kurt was attending there. "It's a small
world afterall....." to meet up with each other again half
way around the world from their college days!
Val sometimes substitute teaches at Faith. Esther is in
Mikayla's High school class.

NEOS is a Greek word that means young and fresh and new. It was started in 1989. NEOS is a family center. NEOS offers Sunday evening fellowship, home Bible studies, youth fellowship, Bible classes for children, library, basketball, discipleship, training, and Bible curriculum for all ages.
We were greatly impressed with their vision and wholelistic
ministry approach.

The van used for our tour.

Esther, Mikayla, Kirsten and Ben by a garden area that the
high schoolers helped prepare last year on an outreach trip.

Mikayla and Esther standing by a house they helped get
started last year on the high school outreach trip.
It is being built as funds come available for it.

James enjoying running around.

Visiting a park and Catholic Shrine area in Tagum. It is
reported to have the world's largest rosary.

At the Tagum Market. We had some excellent rice desserts

It was an excellent trip.

Boat Trip

Yesterday Mikayla, Kirsten, Ben and I went on a boat trip with many friends. It was a fun day of enjoying friends, swimming, snorkeling and relaxing on the boat!

On the boat

Enjoying playing at the beach

Swimming with Ben

Me swimming with Kirsten

Treading water with Mikayla

A view of Davao from the bay as we headed back in

Passing a huge ship

Track and Field Day 2011

Friday was the school's track and field day. This annual event marks the last day of third quarter. It is a fun morning of running events, time with friends, friendly competition between the differing colour teams.

Kirsten at the start of the 1k run.

Jerard enjoying cuddle time with his Daddy while waiting for
the 1k runners to return.

Kirsten and her friend, Janie.

Mikayla, Kirsten, and Ben waiting for the softball toss.

Ben running a race.

Kirsten running a race. She signed up for many events
this year. She loves to run and she's fast!

Mikayla running in a high schoolers race.

James says watching all that racing can make one thirsty!

Ben doing the softball toss.

Mikayla racing in a relay race.

Ben jumping hurdles.

Kirsten passing off the baton in a relay race.

Hebrews 12:1...let us run with perseverance the race
marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus,
the pioneer and perfecter of faith.