Friday, May 28, 2010

A Little Piece of America

This is traffic in the capitol...CRAZY, bumper to bumper all the time! It took us an hour to an hour and a half to get anywhere!

A sight for sore eyes!! Seriously, I teared up a little when I saw that it looked just like the ones from home! Isn't that silly? But I couldn't help myself, the tiled tables the pictures on the wall (you know the queen of the chili cook off in the convertible?) and toilet paper and paper towels in the bathroom! It was just so nice to see it!! Even the flooring and light fixtures were the same. Which proves it is the little things I guess!

Not sure why I look like I have a turtle in this pic with an exceptionally long neck!! :P We we so happy to be there! They even had "free" refills! (of course the drinks were $2.50 US so not sure how free that was, but no one here has refills!) Also the Coke recipe was the American kind not the Asian kind...pretty sure we got our money's worth in Coke alone! :)

Portions were huge and tasted very close to home! The Queso was a little different and the Chili on the cheese fries but overall everyone was very pleased with their food and that we had enough to eat our fill and take home leftovers!

Fajitas and Chicked fried steak were the orders of choice!

Happy for the chance to eat there...

....and way to full to try to jump again for the picture!! LOL!!

I know it can be silly that food can mean so much, but it is a strange thing when you no longer have what you are used to. We of course have learned to eat other things but we have found that the food here does not seem to be as varied and therefore we crave different tastes that are just hard to come by over here. So when you have the chance to taste something familiar and "homey" it really is a great blessing!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Travel Day

Eagle eyed children spotted this one!! Even blurred you can tell what it is!! Yum!! We will have to go there too!!

So we waited 45 minutes for a taxi that then called to cancel, couldn't make it he said! Chili's tonight. We'll try again tomorrow! :( So we "had it our way" at Burger King.....well, okay...we had it someones way, just not ours, since they didn't get the order right but it was still yummy!

A beautiful array of fish heads in the grocery store! LOL!!

While picking up some food to make for breakfast, Marshall found a lovely package of Quail eggs!

A: I thought this was a cute way to sell eggs! B: They must have never heard the term, "Don't put all your eggs into one basket." :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Life Lately....the End of a Great School Year

Hopefully this won't take too long to download, it's a compilation of the last month or so of activities and events that the kids experienced. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

20th Anniversary Edition

20 years? How did it get to be 20 years? I know what you are thinking, "She is too young to be married twenty years!" Well, not really since I married when I was ten!! (Ha) Okay, not really, I really am old enough to be married 20 years! Let's look back at how it all began....flashback with me to 1986:

ME: I have just graduated high school and my best friend, Brent, invites me to his church to get involved in helping with the student ministry. I LOVE it, I had just recently changed my life long plan and decided not to attend the Dallas Art Institute as I felt called to do work for the CEO instead. The same week after that gut wrenching decision I was asked to join the staff of FSBCDC. It was my dream job! Great times!

BARRY: Having graduated in '85 from OU with degree in finance and recently accepting the Son, Barry is working at a bank but feels the CEO is calling him to do more. We meet through my best friend at Falls Creek. Nothing special, I thought he was cute, he began dating one of my friends, then he signed up to do a 2 year term as a J-man in Singapore so off he goes!


ME: I am the secretary/intern at First Southern Baptist Church, Del City for the Youth and College Department. I receive a phone call in the Spring, I answer, "Youth and College, this is Justine..." and the voice on the other end says, "Justine? Justine Marshall? You sound so grown up!" (I know who it is now) and reply, "I was grown up before you left!" (he says I said that while wagging my head...I don't think so!) FSBCDC has asked him to come back and be College and Career minister when he returns, which means I will be his secretary (the plot thickens!).

BARRY: In June he returns to the States in time for Starlite Crusade and I am out of town. When I get back, we meet again for the first time in two years. There is definitely a difference, a spark, something has changed.

ME: The office takes me out to Olive Garden for my birthday on July 2, Barry is the only one who brought a gift (a Bible Dictionary...he knew I would love it, he has always been a romantic!!) . This is my first serious clue that he is interested. On July 14th we have our first date to see The Dead Poets Society. Two days later, he informs me he has to make some big decisions about his I want to be included in those plans? I know what this means and literally can't speak for some time, lots to ponder. Of course, he then says that he has a call on his life and I need to understand it's possible implications for us and our future. I say I will talk to the CEO about it. (18 years later that call came to fruition). By September I have my wedding dress, we are making furniture purchases and have bought a dog (a beautiful golden lab named Pharaoh).

DECEMBER 23, 1989: After having asked for my parent's blessing and permission to marry me while I was away on a service trip to Mexico in August, Barry takes me out to The Eagles Nest, OKc's only revolving restaurant (on one of the coldest days ever, it's on record!) and I know where this is headed when I notice there are flowers and candy waiting at our table. (I once told my mom that I would never marry, instead I wanted to travel around the country with she and dad in an RV! My mom said, "What if a boy brings you flowers", "Nope", I said. So she asked, "What if he brings you flowers AND candy?". Well, now that was a horse of a different color....of course I'd say yes!) So after a beautiful dinner and a three point proposal (if you know Barry......that is SO him , and SO hysterical!) that was absolutely sweet and heart felt, we became engaged. When I said yes the staff came by to congratulate us and offered us complimentary champagne. We politely declined so they suggested coffee, we said yes.....and they charged us for it! LOL!

MAY 19, 1990: Everything is set up perfectly, my sister has felt a little under the weather but feels like she will be fine, that morning Barry snuck up to my window to visit me after he and the groomsmen played basketball, all is great! We have so much music at our wedding sung by a great friend, Bill Brown, that one of our friends said they didn't know there was going to be a wedding at this Bill Brown concert! But he wrote them and they were SO beautiful, how could I narrow it down? Lynn Bullock performed the ceremony, the attendants and groomsmen enter, time for the aisle runner...which starts to roll back down First Southern's sloped aisles, Jon Elliff and Bill Grady race to catch it and bring it back! Ceremony begins beautifully...until I hear a loud "rushing" sound. I am thinking, oh no they didn't...the maintenance and sounds guys at the church has teased that they would turn the baptistry's waters on that overflowed into a moat around the stage area. But I then realize it is just heavy rain...breathe, relax. So we continue on, it's all beautiful, just as I imagined until Lynn asks for the ring from the Best Man, Tim Pruitt. As Lynn turns, Tim is no longer there! So we all turn to see were Tim went and discover what he had been watching and was trying to avoid, my middle sister Jennifer is fainting and is leaning into my older sister and Maid of Honor, Jacquie and is about to fall to the ground! He quickly seats her on a pew on the stage and returns to hand the ring over. HYSTERICAL! Then as Lynn is talking about the significance of the ring, lighting strikes and the electricity goes out for about 5 seconds.....SERIOUSLY? You can't plan stuff like this! Anyway, we finally are pronounced man and wife and make our way to the Waterford Hotel. Only we can't get there because the roads are all flooded and the police have blocked them off. Plan B: Wait at a nearby Denny's until the police open the road!
So as you can see, we really started things off with a bang! But I loved it, I married the man of my dreams, it was fun and memorable and something many people still talk and laugh about!
To be continued........

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy One Year Anniversary

One year = 365 days = 8760 hours = 525600 minutes. This represents the time we have spent in our host country, Macchiato. Inspired by blogs of friends who are experiencing the same thing as me (same-same...but different). I have decided to list a few things that I loved about this year.
  • I have met some of the most amazing people. They have been friendly, warm, and hospitable, but most of all patient and helpful as we learn to use their language.

  • I get to eat amazing watermelon and pineapple all year round, and I like that when we eat local food our whole family can eat for under $10.00 US, sometimes less than that.

  • I love the tropics, the palm trees, coconuts, the beach, the bamboo, and the rice fields.

  • I love how I can see the strangest things every time I go outside, seriously!

  • I love when my kids speak in their new language, or ask for electric translators for their birthday. I really like being able to communicate in a second language, there is something really fun about it.

  • I loved our school (the Pelatihs......not so much the work) and the kids school, we have been truly blessed by the people in both places. Our kids have been loved well by the staff.

  • I like the Koinonia coffee shop which many times has served as my oasis, a little taste of normal.

  • I like when the neighborhood kids stop and call out for my kids to come play.

  • I love having a cook and a cleaner. They surely saved my sanity during this time in language school....I will miss them and felt really good when they told us they will miss us and wished we weren't moving so far away so that they could still work for us!

  • I love how the CEO has seen us through this past year and made his care for us evident in more ways than I can count.

We have been happy, sad, angry, joyful, homesick, frustrated, excited, stressed, patient and impatient, lovable and unlovable and everything else in between. We have felt certain this is where we should be and then sat down and thought what in the world are we doing here! It's a good thing we don't run our lives by our emotions or somebody would be coming to lock us up and throw away the key! :) Yet we are always provided for, literally every time we need the strength to continue, it comes. Every time we realize we have failed, we are offered forgiveness. Every time we feel we have a right to something we are gently, or not so gently, reminded that we gave up your rights and are filled with peace. I could go on and on but you get the picture. We go by faith not by feelings.

Don't get me wrong, this hasn't been a "kumbaya let's hold hands and skip around the park" adventure, we have experienced many things that have threatened to steal our peace. On the other hand this has been the adventure of a lifetime and I can't imagine not having experienced all that we have as a family, it has been life changing in a very positive way. We have not only survived but in many ways thrived and are coming out of this first year a little wiser, a little more humbled, a little more aware of what we are called to do and a real commitment to do it.

And this is the part where I say thank you, because so much of how well we have done and the peace we experienced came from the part you played by talking to the CEO about us and caring for us by sending emails of encouragement, Facebook messages, Skype calls and sending packages. You truly are a blessing to our family. Well.....Mazel is to another year which means another move, another island, new work and back to homeschooling!!