1st Birthday Celebration

Today we are celebrating James and Jerard's first birthday with a come and go birthday party from 2 - 5 this afternoon.

But today's birthday party for James and Jerard is not just a celebration of their first year of life.

In my mind it is also a celebration of all that God has brought
us through as a family this year.

It has not been an easy transition for any of us, growing from a family of 5 to 7. We have each had our own struggles in this process that God has called us in to.

I am thankful to God for Kurt, Mikayla, Kirsten, and Ben.
Each of us has grown and been stretched in many ways these past 10 months with the addition of James and Jerard to our family.

But our God, who is rich in mercy and grace has enriched each of us. We are continuing to grow in His way, not only as individuals, but as a family.

Kurt asked Mikayla yesterday if given the choice, would she choose to go back to life the way it was in Michigan, or stay on the field as a missionary family. She said, "stay on the field as a missionary family."

We are thankful to God for His calling us into missions.

We are thankful to God for the ways He is growing us.

We are thankful to God for bringing James and Jerard into our lives. They are sweet little boys.

We will post pictures after today's festivities are done!

Thanks for all your prayers!


Hi, Thought I'd share some pics of food we get here...........

Kurt and Mikayla like squid....yes, you can get it fresh, frozen, or canned!

Canned Squid

Our milk comes in 1 liter boxes. This is one of the brands of milk we purchase here.

Boxed milk

Mongo beans are sort of like split peas in the US. They are really good fried! They are also good in stews and soups.
Fish sauce is used for flavoring in various food dishes.

'Patis' (Fish Sauce), and mongo beans


Hi, this is me, Jerard (also known as Jon-Jon),

I saw a pediatric child developmental specialist this past week. That was an answer to prayer. My appointment wasn't until February 16, 2009! But she had a cancellation so I got to go early. It was fun.

She said I am at a 4 - 5 month old developmental stage. But in the 'performance' category I'm at 7 months development because I transfer objects from one hand to another and can pick up a toy and hold my own bottle!

Thanks for all your prayers for me. I am getting stronger and stronger. I love to vocalize and can be quite loud. Yesterday it was fun to see how loud I could be in the quiet time at church. My Mom didn't think that was so good so she took me out to the play room at church. That was fun. I could roll on the floor then, and vocalize!

A physical therapist will be working with me once a week at our house so I can learn to sit up better.

My brother James likes to crawl over me when I'm lying on the floor. I don't like that so well.

Anyway, that's my news. Thanks for all your prayers.


Jerard (Jon-Jon)


Hi, This is James, again! My Mom says you all won't be able to come but I wanted to let you know about our party this coming Saturday!

We are having a birthday celebration at our house from 2 - 5. Jon-Jon and I will try our best to stay awake for the whole time!
We are celebrating our first birthday early. Our real birthday is October 26, but our Daddy will be in the United States then.

Mom says we might have 100 people here! What fun!!!!

Thanks for all your prayers for us!

Love, James

p.s. I'm walking now, really good. I keep Dad and Mom, my Ate's and Kuya busy!

Home Schooling Funny

It's really interesting to home school Ben here in a third-world country.
Our workbooks and texts assume a western upbringing!

Ben was 5 when we moved here. His memories of snow and fall weather, gardens, suburban life are dim dream-like memories he has.

It was sort of funny discussing our science chapter on seasons.

Ben's seasons? "Hot" and "Hotter"!

I printed out pics of him when he was little in the snow and playing in the fall leaves so he could visualize what "winter" and "fall" are!!!!