Twas The Concert Before Christmas

Last Friday the Beginner, Middle School, and Advanced Bands played a Christmas concert at Faith Academy.

We are really pleased with the high quality music program Faith offers our kids. Kirsten did an excellent job in the percussion section of the two bands she plays in.

Kirsten playing snare drum. She really does well!

Concerts like this are great for remembering the Christmas season is upon us.
Next week, the elementary choir is performing a Christmas cantata.
Every year, in this warm climate, it often doesn't "feel" like Christmas to me.

But we have decorated our house and are in the process of baking cookies, buying gifts, going to Christmas get-togethers (and hosting a few ourselves.) Christmas carolers have been coming to the door at night to sing. I've been playing Christmas music in our house!...

Praying your holiday preparations include keeping the center-focus on Christ!

Isaiah 9:6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Intro to Scuba Diving Dive

Kurt and Kirsten went on an "intro dive" to scuba diving today.
Ben and I came to watch.

Dive Shop Sign

Loading up gear to go over to a beach on Samal Island.

Having a pre-dive lesson with Frank, a PADI DiveMaster and
Scuba Dive Instructor (and new friend), while drinking coffee/pop at a great little coffee shop on the beach of Samal Island.

Kirsten getting her gear on. Dominique, a PADI Dive
Instructor-In-Training, was helping her and showing her
how the various apparatuses work.

After suiting up, Kirsten and Frank head into the water.

Practicing using the regulator under water.

Going under the water.

Meanwhile, Ben and I snorkeled in the water. Kurt did too.

Ben and Kurt snorkeling while Kirsten was on her dive.

After about 45 minutes, Kirsten, Frank, and Dominique came
back! Kirsten enjoyed her first dive.

Instructor Frank and Kirsten

Kurt's turn to suit up for his first dive.

Heading out into the water.

Learning about the regulator and hand signals.

Practicing with the regulator before going down.

While Kurt was diving, Ben played in a boat, in the rain!

So did Kirsten! It started raining shortly after Kurt and Frank
went on their dive. But, hey, it's the Philippines, and it's
warm rain, so just keep playing!!!!

Dominque, Frank, Kurt and Ben at the end of Kurt's dive.

Instructor Frank (and our new friend.)

Kirsten and Kurt enjoyed their dives, though Kurt says he won't do it again. Kirsten is considering doing it again.
Mikayla and I think we will try an intro dive soon. Ben is considering the possibility, too.

Come visit us! You can go on an intro dive, too, if you desire!

(Mikayla wasn't with us today at the beach because she wasn't feeling well.)


Ben had testing today for Bushido Kai Karate and passed up to his orange belt! YEAH, BEN!!!!!!

He had to work really hard to pass this belt, memorizing ka-da's, moves, stances, blocks, sparring well. We are very proud of him for the determination and effort he puts into karate and see him growing spiritually, emotionally, physically from his karate lessons.

Sensa Nell really stresses the Biblical aspects of reliance on God
in all of life; and being strong in HIM.
Memorizing Bible verses is part of the testing as well!

Romans 8: 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

(Once he gets his belt we will post another picture, but the belts are special made!!!)

Phil 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Psalm144:1 Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.


Kurt is 48 today!

My hubby is 48 years old today!
He puts a smile on my face; He makes me laugh; he puts up with my moodiness. He tries to "be there" for me when I'm feeling sad or just need an extra hug. He is a stable, God-fearing, godly man who I am so thankful to be married to. My husband is a blessing from God.
I'm thankful he is my life-partner on this journey God is leading us on!

Happy Birthday, Kurt! Love you lots!!

First Date

Now that Mikayla is 16 she could date if she wanted to.

Her Daddy took her out on her 'first date' to a very nice restaurant here the other night!

I am thankful she has chosen to adopt the "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" philosophy along with some of her classmates and friends.
I've been leading a weekly Bible Study with some of the high school girls based on this book.

It was written by Josh Harris when he was 21-years old. It's about his story of giving up the dating game in order to focus on serving God. The hope behind it was that other singles would be helped by some of the lessons he was learning. Most people have an opinion about "that book about not dating." Some love it; others despise it. I'd encourage you not to assume you know what it says without having read it. Many readers who start out critics of I Kissed Dating Goodbye are surprised to learn that the core message of the book isn't about "dating," but living your life for God.