Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Transition 2008-2009

Here we are at the end of 2008 with plenty of snow and ice.
Do we look ready for a trip to the tropics?
Our last few days in the US were filled with trips to see family.
My niece Lily is a bright girl.
As you can see, she is learning to read. :-)
Our trip over the Pacific went very well.
They even fed us broccoli and manna
(Manna= what is it?)
Whatever it was I was hungry by the time it arrived
and it tasted good.

After 17 hours of travel we arrived in Manila and then spent 3 hours getting our paperwork processed and waiting for a stray guitar that missed the plane in Taipei. After a good sleep, we headed to the grocery store. As you can see, we don't feel lonely here with plenty of people to rub shoulders with.
After shopping we went out for dinner. The kids were excited to get back to a good rice and fish meal with a shaved ice dessert.
Just a few days ago I had more ice than I wanted and now I am paying for it!! Something is wrong with the supply and demand system. I guess the snow in the US doesn't come with purple ice cream, beans and coconut.

We are all enjoying the heat, blue skies, and sunshine.

Have a Happy New Year!

Serve the Lord with gladness.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Huckleberries

One of the first pictures I took upon arriving in the United States was of a huckleberry. So, it seems fitting that one of my last pictures before leaving for the Philippines should be of a huckleberry. It looks like James is starting to think about green things. The kids missed their last three days of school due to snow, but we finally convinced a janitor to let the kids turn in their school books and get their projects out of the school.





Hibler Hill

Heidi's Uncle Harry and Aunt Kay have built an amazing log house and we were invited to Christmas dinner. We drove to the Kitsap peninsula and then hiked for 20 minuted through the beautiful snowy woods to reach their home.

The Christmas tree is amazing and gets lots of attention from the kids because Aunt Kay has a pickle ornament that she hides on the tree. The lucky finder gets the "pickle gift." After a long search, James was the winner. Thomas was enjoying having a look through the library.
Dinners at Hibler hill often come with a theme. This year the theme was "Northwest" so we enjoyed salmon, clams, mushrooms, and apple cider. Everything was delicious!


This is the famous family around the table shot.







Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow

Someone wrote and asked if we have any snow.
The answer is yes.

And we are enjoying it.

It is a real treat for us.

The kids were hoping that they would have a chance to play in snow

before heading back to the Philippines.

This is a video of my run on the sled.


video

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving, time for another road trip. You can see from the picture that we love getting out on the open road.
This time we headed south to Boise, Idaho. The round trip took 1.200+ miles, but the good time we had with family in Idaho and with our friends in Union, Oregon made it all worth while.

While in Idaho, the kids enjoyed riding the 4-wheeler, playing with Cousin Eva,
and archery lessons from Cousin Daryl,
We are thankful that we have had good health and safe travels.
We are thankful for so many wonderful friends and family members.



Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's Chapel Time

Wednesday is Chapel Day at the local Christian schools.

I'm ready to go.
And the students are ready for missionary stories, artifacts, and pictures that teach Bible truth. One of the things I enjoy about furlough is visiting the local Christian schools. I am encouraged that so much effort is going into giving children a good education and am blessed to have a small part by being the missionary chapel speaker for 4 different groups. I go to a different group each week on a rotating basis.

Fall

This past October has been very beautiful. The leaves turned brilliant shades of red and yellow and it didn't rain very much so they stayed on the trees for a long time. Heidi and I enjoyed going on walks when we had opportunity. The two pictures below was taken by Carrie out in the Skokomish Valley.
Sunday the Endicotts of Hoodsport invited us to there home for a time of fellowship. They also took us for a walk in the woods near their house. As you can see, the leaves are not on the trees anymore. During the last days of October, the winter winds blew in and the leaves are falling.

Before we leave October, we must pass on a congratulations to Charles. He is now a licensed driver. He his now scheduled to start school at LeTourneau University in Texas in January. He celebrated his 19th birthday on November 3rd.















Sunday, October 19, 2008

Moving Day for Tom and Amanda

We have really been enjoying watching the leaves turn color, so we were not too disappointed to have the chance to drive to Oregon last weekend. Below is a picture of the train station in Portland, Oregon. We spent the evening across the street, visiting our friends, Mark and Letta Cox. Mark and Letta went to language school with us in the Philippines and then served in Manila. The next day we went to Hillside, Oregon and helped my brother Tom and his family pack up their house for a move to Salem. Below is a picture of Thomas holding his cousin Henry.
We also headed for Salem, but first we had a planned a rendezvous with Tim, Pam, Rachel, and Nathaniel Baker. The Bakers lived in Northern Luzon with us and served with the Southern Baptist Mission team. We had lunch together and talked about the good old days. For example, the time that I was helping Tim glue down his floor and a typhoon was passing by and I went out to try to find some missing kids and didn't come back for hours because my vehicle broke down and I was hiking and Tim went to rescue me. Tim is now pastoring a church in Toledo, Or.

After lunch with the Bakers, we went over to Tom and Amanda's new house and helped unload. As you can see from my shirt, I think I am Wonder Man when it comes to moving. I told them I could get that dryer through the doorway...and anyway, woodwork and plaster walls can be replaced.

Below is Tom's new house. I'm sure it will be a real blessing for them to live 10 minutes from where Tom works inspecting construction materials.




Thursday, October 9, 2008

20 Years Anniversary

Heidi and I have been married for 20 years and during the first week of October, we went to the beach for a few days to celebrate that milestone. I have been so blessed to have been given such a wonderful wife.


My brother David and his wife Sandy hosted James, Carrie, and Thomas for a night so that we could get away a day early. For the other days, my Dad and Martha stayed at our house in Tumwater and helped keep the school schedule going. Pictured with our children are Billy and Rachelle, my nephew and niece in front of their new house.

A kind family from our church in Olympia offered us the use of their beach house. It was a beautiful house and only a short drive from the beach.




Monday, September 29, 2008

I like Ike

This is a picture of Ike and me. Oh, yes Sandie is there too. Back in 1989, Heidi and I moved to Vancouver, Washington and I worked at Eisenhower Elementry School with Sandie. Sandie and her husband Ross have remained good friends over the years. This past weekend they had an open house for us so that we could visit with many of the people I worked at Eisenhower. It was a lot of fun to catch up on the news and visit the new school. The one I worked in was torn down. Really, it didn't have anything to do with me. It was old and needed to be replaced. Honest.

On Sunday, we enjoyed spending the day with our friends at Felida Baptist. It was a pleasure to be with them again.

Anna Arrives

In mid September, our niece, Anna (on the left), from Alaska stopped in to visit us for a few days. We enjoyed having her with us and taking her around to visit friends and family. Above on the left is Lucy Endicott. Lucy is a cousin on Anna's father's side. She is also a distant cousin of mine. She is my wife's sister's husband's, cousin's daughter. You can't get much closer than that.
Anna's cousins on the Loertcher side include Emily and Charles. These three are were all born the same year. Below is another "cousins" picture. The younger girls are Heidi's sister Sara's children, Lola and Lily.
Our travels with Anna took us to Emily's house in Shelton for a tea party. I, have never attended a tea party before and may never be invited to one again, but I did enjoy the company and it was a treat to see Emily and Don's children. Pictured are Anna, Lucy, Carrie, Emily, and Sheryl.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Faces that ring bells

Furlough is a great time for catching up with friends we haven't seen for a while. Sometimes a face really rings a bell, but we are not quite sure if we can come up with the right name or not. This little bell ringer is my college roommate's daughter, Emily. Last furlough she took some of her first steps at our house. Now she is a school girl.
One weekend in September we traveled to Everett to enjoy a time of fellowship with Matt and Shirley Comstock and their children. Shirley even sent an apple pie home with us. Thanks Shirley. It was superb. The Sunday following our trip to Everett, we went to church at Hood Canal Community church. My father, John Bamford, was the guest speaker. In the evening, we drove to the airport and picked up Anna; Heidi's niece from Alaska. We are looking forward to having Anna with us for a few days. Today she jumped in to fill a needed babysitting job that needed to be filled. Our neighbors have twins which we enjoy.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Going to School


Fall is already here and we are enjoying seeing the trees start to turn from green to orange and yellow. This tree is a sugar maple and is the first one to put on a show in our neighborhood. With the yellow leaves comes the big yellow school bus.
When our children were still babies, I used to tease Heidi about having to put them on the school bus and watch their tear stained faces pull away. Well, it never happened, our children did almost all of their schooling around the kitchen table. This year, things are a bit different. You can see this in the picture. To me, it looks like Heidi is pushing them onto the bus. Perhaps not, but anyway, there are no tears. James and Carrie are enjoying their classes at Black Lake High School.
Thomas has also started school. He is going to Cornerstone Christian School. In the picture, he is standing with his science teacher, Mr. Evatt. I, Jonathan, am one of his teachers. I'm teaching a missions emphasis class two days a week to 19 Jr. high students. Charles will start a few college classes next week and Heidi and I will be taking some correspondence classes as well.