Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Glance Back at 2009

The McManus Family 2009
It's been a year of changes for us! But we are adjusting, still laughing, and holding to the fact that we were called to come here. Can't wait to see what the new year brings!

Packed up to live in VA for 2 months....tiring, rewarding, and made lots of great friends! :)

Learned many thought provoking things and also was reminded of other things I knew but now applied in a new way. :)

Learned that they were right...culture shock can be ugly:/

Watched as two neighborhood homes burned down in the worst wildfire I have ever experienced :(

Traveled to Southeast Asia by way of Moscow (we had a tracker so we know that we ate breakfast over Sweden!) :)

Moved to an island the size of Tennessee but with the population of 120 million people :o

Blew up my phone that would call and receive calls from America for free :/

Saw a dancing monkey with a blonde doll head on it's head......creepy!

Got used to smelling Durian, still haven't tried it.......and still don't like it! :(

Often get to see wild iguanas running around :)

Employed a cook and a cleaner for the first time ever.....Yippee! :)

Started Language School and completed 6 units of the 9 unit course. :)

Enrolled our previously homeschooled children into an International School, that they love! :)

Watched both sons' play and do well in soccer :)

Campbell continued taking dance :)

Rode in local un-air conditioned public transportation (read van) with 15 other people :0

Rode in a horse cart with my whole family :o

Landed in an airplane that bounced on the runway so hard that we all flew up in the air as we thanked God we had on our seat belts!! (and knew how to fasten them!) :P

Vacationed in Bali for a week =D

Ate from food stalls that would have "Diner's Digest" in fits...and survived! :}

Learned to buy unrefrigerated eggs....and survived! :P

Learned to drink box shelf milk.....and still learning to like it. :/

Learned to carefully eat ground beef...it often has bone pieces! :/

Made more great friends in our Language school city, some colleagues and some nationals! :)

Learned that "Good-bye" is now a way of life for us :(

Learned to not panic when a car is coming at me, in my lane :0

Learned that they don't drive on the "wrong side of the road", but the "left side"! :P

Saw gut wrenching poverty :(

Watched people "wash" their gods :/

Learned to adjust to hearing the call to pr*yer five times a day.....loudly! :/ And can now sleep through the one at 4:00 am!

Fell in love with the cutest little kids who live in our neighborhood who yell, "Hallo!" when they see us!=D

Experienced a terrorist attack and several earthquakes taking place on our island, but thankfully not directly affected by any of them! :o

Learned to live without real cheese :(

Learned that when you see it, buy it. You may never see it again! :/

Weekly attend a church with nationals :)

Seen on a daily basis: families of 4, 5 or 6 people riding a motorcycle. Sometimes while holding an umbrella! :o

Learned to shop in a new way, you can't just pick up an item and carry it with you to pay. They must make out a receipt at every department, and then you pick up and pay for your items at the end. :/

Found out that every time you buy something electrical they unpack it, plug it in, and show you that it works.....even when buying a flat iron. :)

$2.00 haircuts are "very expensive" to the nationals :(

Drank Kopi Luwak....and survived :o

Look the whole family snorkeling.....everyone loved it!

Learned to bargain...quite effectively, if I can remember my numbers! :/

Survived holidays away from my family and friends for the first time ever :(

Learned that The CEO is faithful to his Word and he can care for us here just as much as he can in America!

"Why should I fear man, When You made the heavens?

Why should I be afraid, When You put the stars in place?

Why should I lose heart, When I know how great you are?

Why should I give up, When Your plans are full of love?

In this world we will have trouble, But You have overcome the world!

You Shine, Brighter than the brightest star!

Your love, Purer than the purest heart!

You Shine, Filling us with courage and strength to follow You!"

May you SHINE for Him in 2010 and dare to do things you never thought possible for His Kingdoms' sake!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thank You!! Packages Mean So Much!!

Whether it is toys, seasonings, candy or books from friends and family in the States or Dr Pepper from friends in Singapore.....the *McManii* family loves packages!!
Thank you for the magazines, toys, seasonings and jello SHBC Gathright Class!! What a fun surprise for the kids to come home to, Polly Pockets and Legos!!

Today's arrival! Thanks Katrina, I know what we are doing tonight: drinking homemade hot cocoa out of cute mugs with real marshmallows, eating candy and watching a movie!! :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Kentucky Style...as in KFC in Macchiato

Okay..so one of these clips I obviously filmed the wrong way, but if you bend your head to the side you can still enjoy it!! :) This is what we experienced at our newly renovated KFC for supper on Christmas Eve!!

Starting on the 18th we gave our helpers 10 days off......what were we thinking??! Just kidding....kind of! :) Anyway, we decided to make Christmas Eve easy on ourselves and have a meal out at KFC and then go to the Bizztro for Christmas dinner with some friends. It was all very normal when we arrived but about 15 minutes into our supper this is what happened......."now that was unexpected" (think Taco Bueno commercial) but made for a fun time at dinner. This is also where the blog title photo was taken!

If you look at the playground you can see Haddie playing, she is in the black shirt.....and the white skin! :) Ho ho ho!! Merry Christmas!

Santa in Macchiato.....at KFC, who knew?

Being serenaded with Christmas Carols.....I think the Colonel would be proud!! :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Eve and Christmas Pics

Christmas Eve Service: They win for the most creative use of a volleyball net! :)

Waiting for the candlelight service to start!

Haddon was very proud to be holding her own candle!

Christmas morning! The boys were up at 5:30, the girls at 6:30!

Hudson admiring the mini electric guitar Marshall got him!

Modeling! Campbell gave Haddon a necklace, and Haddon gave Campbell a purse!

Marshall opening a book from Grandma!

Haddon made ornaments for Mom and Dad at school!

Dinner at the Bizztro with good friends, and they had entertainment! :)

Here he is playing for the kids! Haddon is hiding behind Barry because it was too loud....(said the pot to the kettle!) :)

Here is a video clip of the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Language School Christmas Party (Selamat Natal)

A few pics from our Christmas Party at the school! We sang, had a service, some students did special music, and then ate together!

Pak K and Pak A were the MC's, they did a great job!

During the sermon the kids (and a doll) acted out the story!

"Mary" (Campbell) and "Joseph" (Simeon)!

The animals, which was probably fitting! :) They are all in the same class at school, Daniel, Ollie and Haddon!

My little lamb!

Marshall and Hudson were shepherds and the MC's were other sheep! While Pak Y was the angel!

Ollie's Dad, Jon, preached (in Macchiato) and did a great job, Simeon kept trying to show him J*sus!

Almost all of our Pelatihs and staff!! They don't look like torturers do they? :)
We really have come to love each of them!
Here is a video clip!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Cookies? Not Quite....

uhmmmm......? Our cook makes cookies all the time but she has never made these before nor do we own these cookie cutters, I guess she brought them! HYSTERICAL!! :) I told Barry I would love to see the kids faces when the open their lunches and see these. Sure enough when we picked them up the first thing they said was, "Ibu T gave us skull cookies today!" Hudson goes, "That was odd!" He said that one of his friends said, "Hudson you're lucky your cook made Christmas cookies".....and Hudson says, "Well, not exactly!" And just in case your wondering, they tasted great! =) You truly never know what will happen next here!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Recent Random Photos

The wife of one of our Tutor's had a baby and we were invited to the pr*yer service

They sang hymns, had a devotion and prayer time then...lots of yummy food!

Doesn't every gas station have trash, bathrooms, and a m*sque?

Rainy Season has arrived and it rains real hard every day but not all day!

Something to consider if you have ever complained about your lawn mower...He is cutting with a knife, but we have also seen them use scissors!

What he has done by hand and some of what is left to do...

Hudson is learning about medieval times in school and each kid made their own crest!

Thanksgiving Day was "Renaissance Fair" day at the High School but all the students got to attend! This is the water balloon catapult, Hudson is in the crowd at the far end getting shot at!

Mr. J is Marshall's Language Arts teacher and also King Henry for the day. As the day progressed they re-enacted all of his marriages! (King Henry's marriages..not Mr. J's, he is single and likely to stay that way if he wears that outfit off school property! :o)

Haddon with her book and the flower and sun she made for science.

Haddon's book! The Hungry Caterpillar

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Marshall and Haddon before his school Christmas Concert

No...I'm not blogging about the big black guy in the 80's comedy show, "What's Happening"! :)

In light of my previous post and my need for it to feel Christmas-y, I came across one of our favorite Christmas songs and noticed that I had blogged about in in one of my first blogs, almost a year ago today!

It is still fitting and a great reminder for all of us....if you don't own this CD, I highly recommend you buy it this year! "SNOW" by GoFish

It's About the Cross

It's not just about the manger where the baby laid
It's not all about the angels who sang for Him that day
It's not just about the shepherds or the bright and shining star
It's not about the wisemen who traveled from afar

It's about the cross
It's about my sin
It's about how J*sus came to be born once
So that we could be born again
It's about the stone that was rolled away so that you and I could have real life some day
It's about the cross

It's not just about the presents underneath the tree
It's not all about the feeling that this season brings to me
It's not just about coming home to be with those you love
It's not all about the beauty of the snow I'm dreaming of

The beginning of the story is wonderful and great
But it's the ending that can save you and that's why we celebrate

It's about the cross,
It's about my sin
It's about how J*sus came to be born once so that we could be born again
It's about G*d's love nailed to a tree
It's about how every drop of blood that flowed
From Him when it should have been me
It's about the stone that was rolled away
So that you and I could have real life some day
It's about the cross

Go Fish (Snow) 2006

Funny isn't it? How I can miss things not being "Christmas-y" in a country where we moved simply because millions don't know the Christmas story! Kind of ironic isn't it? If they knew and celebrated the Son like we do.....I would probably be somewhere else! Have to laugh at that! :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Love Rubbish

First let me explain. Many years ago we knew a little boy, Wes, who loved Thomas the Tank Engine and he would always tell Barry and I that "James, was rubbish!", which was a quote from the show. This was before we had kids of our own, and we were unfamiliar with the names of the trains, that phrase however, has always stuck with us.

Lately I have found the word 'rubbish' rolling around in my mind. Why you ask? Because the longer I am away from the "things" I know and have found comfort in, the greater my desire for them grows....and the saddest part about that is that most of those things are 'rubbish'. They are not eternal, they in themselves do not give or bring joy. If anything they create in you a desire for more or the feeling that you have a "right" to them. Neither of which is good!

How is it that I can know that every good gift comes from the CEO and that I have done nothing to earn or deserve his goodness, nor do I have the promise that anything I have today will be here tomorrow and yet I can still feel deprived if I don't have them? I know this is where gratitude comes in, but the heart is such a fickle, deceitful thing, you can say you are grateful for them but the true test is how you feel when they are actually gone, what then is your response?

I am so very thankful that the CEO has given the Manual to us, how very blessed we are to be able to read of the triumphs and failures of other men! Some who strived to follow the CEO with all their heart and still made stunning mistakes, others who heard the truth and flat out rejected them for their own wisdom and brought destruction on themselves. Paul's words have resonated more with me lately than probably at any other time of my life,
"When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner
being I delight in "the CEO's" law, but I see another law at work in
the members of my body waging war against the law of my mind and making
me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a
wretched man I am!" Rom. 7:21-24
Thankfully I also have,

"You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit of
"the CEO" if the Spirit lives in you." Rom. 8:9

What amazing love He has shown us in that we are not left to fight the enemy without and within by ourselves, which we could never do! That He promises hope, strength and forgiveness for each day with the power to overcome.

So when I am feeling mopey and sad that Christmas is different, or that is doesn't "feel" like Christmas shouldn't I remember all the times that I told my children that the joy of Christmas isn't found in "things" but in the fact the "The CEO so loved the world that he gave his one and only son......"? That because of that act of supreme love we have redemption and a hope that no one can steal! Again, in the comfort of being surrounded by "all things Christmas" my words came easy. Yet now in the light of my present reality, what is the true response of my heart? Is it joy over the birth of the Son and what that means or is it sadness over rubbish that I don't get to enjoy this year? I wish my answer were different but if I am to be honest......I have found myself sad because my heart has desired the rubbish. Selfish want and desire always breed discontent, never a sense of thankfulness.

So as I work through the struggles of my own emotions and ask the CEO to continue to make me more like him and a lot less like me, take a moment to do your own heart test. Do you love rubbish? Over here it looks like it's time to take the trash out, what time is it where you are?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like....?

Nothing says Christmas like a "Santa on the Moon" inflatable!! Hahahaa

Just thought this was funny, and to show you that the commercialism of Christmas is world wide!! This is at Ace Hardware which is Macchiato's version of Wal-Mart - minus the cheap prices! It can be pretty expensive since is caters to Westerners but it is oh so nice to visit and get a sense of "normal" for a little bit.......and it's only an hour away!! :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pics from Thanksgiving @ "J" Dorm

Haddon won the coloring Contest and got to go first in line at Thanksgiving!
The dorm dinning room decorated for Thanksgiving!

Enjoying a "home cooked" American meal!! :)

Proof that even in a dorm.....there's a kid's table!! :)

The guys working on a Thanksgiving Word Search before dinner!

Yum!! Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole and an apple pie!

Very random pictures I know, but I was busy talking and eating!! :) Our Thanksgiving was really nice for it being our first one away. We celebrated at the International School dorm which is owned by our company (for the kids whose families work with the company) and two other colleagues families that live here. We all felt a little homesick but at least we were not alone, we had new friends and great food. Then later that night I got sick and was in bed for five days.......I guess you can't win them all!! :) Thanks for the prayers for us they were felt!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Memories...Just one of the things we are thankful for!

One of my all time favorite Thanksgivings, pretty sure we couldn't have had more fun!

Just one of the tables and just a few of the seats occupied by family and friends at our home!

Every year we four-wheel up to this area between our home and the lake and take a picture of all the grand kids (those old enough to ride) on this fallen tree! So great to compare pictures from year to year!

"Mayflower hats" We always do Thanksgiving crafts, what kind of mom makes the children wear such crazy hats? :)

More hats which we also make the cousins wear!

These hats were a fav! Backwards ball caps made into turkey hats!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING...................from a couple of turkeys!!!

(These were the eyes we used for the hats in the photo above! Did you know if you stretch your eyes wide and then set the plastic eye on your eyes then relax...they just stay there! Who knew? Just a little tip! :)

May your day be filled with lots of love, laughter, family and friends. And may you stop to remember how truly blessed you are by the CEO! We love you!!

While we miss celebrating the CEO's goodness with our families and friends back home, we are thankful for modern ways to stay in touch and for bringing us to this place and how He has provided everything we need, every step of the way!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Wedding on the Road

When Barry and I noticed the tent going up we knew it meant something..wedding? Funeral? As we were marveling as the ingenuity of people making do with the space they have (e.g. the road) our friend "V" walked up and told us there would be a wedding for a neighbor and we were invited. Yay! Then she offered to take us to see the preparations being made by the women in the kampung (actual translation is "ghetto"* :). It is basically a close-knit neighborhood.

*As a side note: Since we live in a 'ghetto' I guess that explains why the other day at the pool we heard Campbell say, "Where yo' ball go?" We all cracked up, it was an accident since she was talking fast but still.....hilarious!! Maybe the 'ghetto' is rubbing off on her! LOL

Anyway, as we leave the street, to walk between the first row of houses, it is as if you are somehow transported into village life. The stone and dirt path between the homes is narrow and winding, each home connected to the other by a wall. With each step I am walking further from modern civilization, it's as if you can watch yourself go back in time. Not sure how else to describe it. When we arrive at an opening, there is a covered area with a fire pit for cooking and ver few modern convenience being used. The sky is close to bursting into a torrential rainfall and no one is fazed, they just sit on the porch with the food splayed out and continue working. I wish you could see it, it was beautiful to watch. They worked together with ease, each women young and old, taking a role in helping. They showed us what they were cooking and how they did each step, it was amzing! We congratulated the Bride and she told us to be sure to come at 10am.

The next morning we hurried to finish our translations so we would be free to attend for as long as we could before our class began at 1pm. The loud (and rather irritating :) music started around 6 in the morning and yesterdays music had only ended just a few hours before! At 9 we heard a man on the microphone (they LOVE microphones, and they like them LOUD) We waited until ten and walked outside where it was standing room only. Unsure whether to go on or wait, we were encouraged to go on ahead. They greeted us with a small tray of goodies and a drink as several people scurried to get us a seat. Since most of the service was in 'Macchiato' and Ar*bic we didn't know exactly what was going on and just followed the crowd. The people are very warm and will motion you to help you know what to do. We had a great time. Enjoyed great food and conversations which can be held a little longer now with a greater understanding of the language.

I have found that I cannot be around these "cousins" with their warm hospitality or watch them pr*y without starting to cry! It's embarrassing, but I just hurt for them and want them to know the Truth.

So as I prepared this slide show I had trouble deciding on a song. Love songs somehow seemed wrong and so I settled on "Go Light Your World" by Chris Rice. Not sure it is the perfect fit but it is always a good reminder, be sure to listen to the words! Enjoy!

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