Saturday, March 31, 2012

New Photos!

 We got some new photos of Avery with the March care package we sent her!
She isn't a baby any more; more like a little girl, which makes sense; she's 18 months old in these pictures.
 We sent photos of the kids holding the gifts we sent her.
 She's never been too fond of smiling for pictures!!
So Cute!!!  We can't wait to get you home!  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

True Converts

My spring break has been rainy, so instead of doing yard work or cleaning out my garage, I've been reading blogs - lots of blogs.  In my defense, they've all been related to religion and Christianity so maybe this makes it less of a waste of time.  (maybe not...)  Here's one post I really liked and felt it was worthy of re-posting,


So, when I hear of the great numbers being baptized in North America mega-churches I ask this question, “Where is the fruit?” Is it simply in bringing more members into the mega-church - more butts to fill up the pews or comfy theatre seating.

John Wesley said, “The Church changes the world not by making converts but by making disciples.” He was known for rigorously examining people to discover whether they had really become believers. It could take up to two years of intense discipleship before Wesleyans actually accepted a person’s conversion. And though I come from a line of Wesleyan preachers on my mother’s side, and identify myself as predominantly Arminian in my theology, I’m not suggesting this kind of rigour.


There must be more than simple crossing a line from darkness to light and then sitting just past that line for the rest of one’s days.

I am suggesting that we should and must have an expectation of real transformation in the lives of new believers. This doesn’t happen by having them sit on their butts in comfortable pews listening to sermons on Sunday morning and, perhaps, occasionally on Wednesday evening. It happens with older-in-the-faith believers walking alongside younger-in-the-faith believers —teaching them the historicity of the faith, the power of prayer, the longing for the infilling of the Holy Spirit, what the fruits of the spirit are, compelling them to read the Scriptures and become like the Bereans who Paul lauded, and to learn to be makers of discipler themselves. (Note that the older and younger references are not meant to suggest chronology but rather people who have been Christians longer than the new believer.)

- Taken from:  THIS  blog

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Twinkle, Twinkle...

Addison LOVES to sing!!!  Here's our little star singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Impossible Game

Ok, so Drew went to a basketball tournament this weekend.  His team is on a 6th grade team...please note the size of the other team!!!  I'm not kidding when I say that team had at least 6, 6-foot players, and the shortest was my size - (5'9'')  They were unbelieveably huge!!  I was told later they were 8th graders, but holy cow!!!  It was crazy!!  Drew was was just something for them to trip over!!!

Watch this clip....still the same game ( which we lost 52-9) but I did manage to catch Drew sinking a three-pointer!!  It was the only highlight of the game for me...even the mamas on the other team applauded Drew's shot!  Anyway...better luck next time!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Catalina Island

We were staying in Punta Cana...on the Eastern shore, but took a day trip to Catalina island which is near La Romana.  (On the south eastern shore)
Here we are in front of the famous Basilica in Higuey.  We were told there were only 3 of these in the world.  We weren't able to go inside because we were not properly dressed, but I found some cool pictures on the internet. 
 The Basilica at night

 The interior

Here is our scuba guide  (in the photo above this one) Dago, flirting with the German girls.  He spoke English, Spanish, French, and obviously just enough German as well!!  He was a really smart guy!
The island off in the distance is Catalina; our destination

Scuba off the coast of Catalina
We saw tons of these coral tubes.  They were really big and pretty.
Here is a lionfish.  We saw several of them whiel scuba diving.
On the beach after scuba diving.
Beautiful scenery on the island of Catalina.
Just relaxing
Here we are after our scuba diving and island tour with Dago.  It was a great day! 

Again, I say, I absolutely love the Dominican Republic.  I love love love it!!! I can't wait to go back.  I didn't want to leave.  It was the most perfect place in the world.  I miss it terribly!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Dominican countryside...and another beach!

Macao Beach
We took a dune buggy excursion into the Dominican countryside.  Although I wasn't fond of the actual buggy-riding, I did like getting off the resort and seeing the countryside...and this gorgeous beach named "Macao Beach."
 It was quite beautiful! 

Here's Mark driving our dune buggy.  So studly! 

 This was the road we were on.  Now, I must say that the cities were much nicer, richer, and cleaner than the country.  In the cities, the roads were all paved, there was little to no trash, and there were businesses everywhere, and all the buldings and homes had running water, electricity, applicances and other modern conveniences. 

In the country, as you'll see, it was much poorer.  There were few paved roads and some houses didn't have running water.  (although based on what we saw, many had electricity.)  It was a stark change from the city in which we were staying. 
 Here is a field with some cattle.

 Here's a little farm house we saw off the road.

 Here is another little country house.  All the houses, even in the city - well, many in the city - hung their laundry out to dry.  I guess dryers aren't the norm for most people. 

 Here we were at a cave.  You could swim in the pool in the cave, but I wasn't interested in jumping in cold water with a bunch of French and/or Canadian tourists.

 This little girl ran out to the road when we drove by.  On our way back, we stopped and took a picture because we thought she was so cute!  She put her little hand on her hip and waved away!!

The cattle raised for beef were African cattle, so clearly different from the cattle here in the states.   I thought they were interesting..maybe a little pretty. 
We saw this guy riding a donkey...which was unusual.  Most people drove mopeds, motorcylces, trucks or cars.  We saw very few, if any people using animals for transportation.  It was really different so I took a picture.

More pictures later!!! 

Let me just say,  I really, really, loved the Dominican Republic!  I mean, I loved it.  I didn't want to leave.  Mind you, I've visited Mexico and Jamaica, and really did want to come home when vacation was over, but this was one country I loved and really, really didn't want to leave.  It was so beautiful, mountainous, tropical, incredible beaches, perfect weather and I loved the poeple!  They were very friendly and loved speaking Spanish with me!  They were great and I really loved it!  It was amazing.  the food was great, it was all fabulous!!! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Paradise cont...

Mark on the beach.  It was clear based on his swimsuit he was American.  Most of the Canadians and all of the European men wore some form of tightly fitted speedo swimsuit.  It became quite commonplace by the end of the week.
Me on the beach..note the diving book NOT being read!!
Here are 5 year old twins from Colombia.  Once I started talking to them in Spanish they were my best friends!  She loved the Disney princesses!!
Here's the sitting area of our room.  The room was really big!
Here's the other side of the room.  We had a king size bed.  It was nice.
Here is our balcony.  It had an ocean view and was quite pretty. 
This was one of the three big pools at the resort.  We never used the pool...I mean why bother when you've got the beautiful ocean just steps away?!
The main reception hall and buffet.
This is us before dinner one night.
Here we are eating dinner in the large buffet dining hall.  We ate breakfast here every morning too.  There was another nice buffet near the beach where we always ate lunch.  It was my favorite because you could see the ocean and the beach while you ate.  I ate dessert with every single meal.  I not only ate dessert...I ate several kinds of dessert!!!  So good!!!
Here we are at the "Mexican Restaurant" at the resort.  The guy taking our picture insisted we wear the lovely we did.  I find it odd that the resort had a "Mexican" restaurant.  Why wouldn't they have a Dominican one?   Who knows.  It was really good!  We enjoyed it.  More photos in a day or two! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dominican Republic = paradise

 So we decided to go on vacation seeing as the adoption was no where close to happening.  After all, Mark had days he had to use or he would lose them, so we decided to go to the Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.  (I saw the pretty beaches on the TV show, House Hunters International, which is what prompted us to go!)  It was everything we thought it would be...actually more.  We stayed in Edificio #13 (pictured above)

When we arrived, it was evening and Punta Cana faces southeast, so we didn't ge much of a sunset, but here are some shots anyway.

The beach just near our room.

The lobby area in our resort

 More beach shots...but I think this is the sunrise...I can't remember.

 Yes, this is sunrise...we went scuba diving every morning so we were on the beach by 8am every morning to meet the boat that took us to our diving center.

 More beach

The next afternoon at the beach.  Its truly as white and beautiful as it appears in this photo.  Such a beautiful place; such perfect weather. 

So every day there was nice ocean breeze coming off of the Atlantic and a warm sun shining down on the beach.  So incredibly perfect.  Its not terribly popular with Americans, but let me tell you, there were tons of Canadians, especially Frech-speaking Canadians, and Europeans too.  There were even some Russians.  It was quite an international vacation spot!  Tons of languages and culutres in one place.

 Mark hanging out at the beach, reading his diving book.  We got our open diving certification while there, so it required some studying.

My view from my beach chair.  Divine.