Friday, April 20, 2012

A Sticky Situation

Here are the pics I promised...a little late! Things have been busy around here.

These are pics from PYP, the Int'l Youth Group. The crate with the school items that were suppose to be Christmas gifts finally arrived so they became Easter gifts! The students put them together in bags and then played a fun game that could have come straight from Barry's playbook from our student m*nistry days! And if you were a part of that time in our lives, you know just what I was MESSY! Anyone remember playing "Meat Your Maker" games?  I still cannot believe that we played a game tossing raw chickens in that Oklahoma heat!!  LOL  Good times!  Here, they had the two oldest boys and the two oldest girls become human banana splits! They were in a race to see who could get everything to stick on their face the fastest by dropping it on them, for instance, the bananas had to be mashed so that they wouldn't roll off! LOL Enjoy the pics, Marshall had a blast!

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Board, Bored, and OJ

Okay. First things first, I am so sorry that I have seemingly abandoned the blog, I haven't. Sometimes to be quite honest I am either struggling with time to finish the post, struggling with what to say, or talking myself out of what I have to say since you all have a life and I never want to waste your time. I guess I think that sometimes it's best to say nothing to than to force it and just post drivel.

Speaking of drivel, the other night after I finished serving my chicken enchiladas, the whole dish burst to pieces on its own....craziness.  So far I have had this dish and two glass lids self combust. 

I am going to touch on several topics which I think you should know about:

1. Board or Bored? We are seriously in the throws of praying about Marshall going to boarding school. OK now, breathe out some of that air that you just sucked in...slowly exhale. Oh?  That wasn't you? Of course not, it was me making that gasping for air sound! Aaaaaack!! You should know something about me. Nearly 23 years ago I made my soon to be husband promise that, if we ever did what we are doing now, we would never send our children to boarding school. It was agreed upon. A done deal. That is until you live in an area where by the time we come back here next January 2013, all of Marshall's friends will have moved away. All of them. Put that scenario next to the one where we have sociable son who desires to play sports and there is not a ton of stuff to do here and well....there you have it, a couple of parents looking into a situation that they never wanted, but that actually might be the best thing for the child.

Trust me, you have not thought of an argument against this that we have not mulled over either out loud or privately in our thoughts and silent prayers. I do have to admit that after seeing it operate in person while we were in language school and seeing kids who not only survived it but thrived in it, we are more open to the idea. But it is painful nonetheless. Many factors to consider. Would you lift up this situation with us? You can see the school here There were representatives at our homeschool conference this year and we were very impressed with the school.   He is very excited about going and we have a ton of our families there so he will have lots of his friends attending also. 

2. Hudson got his cast off!! Yay!! His arm is great and we are so excited that he got excellent care and healed beautifully. Other then some minor stink issues toward the end, he said it wasn't so bad. :) It did take him a while to remember that he didn't have to hold his arm over his head when he showered! LOL

3. Would you lift up a man I'll call "OJ". He is our trash man...for now. Let me take you back a couple of years to when we first moved here. This little old man has thick curly hair that peaks out of a baseball cap that looks like it is as old as he is. I have never seen him without it. He has all of about 4 teeth in his head so I REALLY have a hard time understanding him. He always has a smile. Always. He faithfully brings his little run down motorcycle with a cart attached and picks up our trash, a couple of times a day. No we don't always have trash out, but he is there in case we do. One exceptionally hot day, he was at our house picking up the trash when he asked us something. Not understanding him at first, we asked him to repeat it and he motioned that he was thirsty and could he have a drink. Immediately we went and got a bottle of orange juice (hence the name) that we happened to have in the fridge and gave it to him. He gratefully took it, expressing his thanks and walked over behind a tree outside our gate and drank it. In secret. Ashamed. It was during R*madan. As a Musl*m you fast not only from food, but drink as well. I was so struck by this picture, it was almost like "the garden scene" all over again. For Adam and Eve, the CEO made an animal sacrifice to pay for the sin in which they felt they needed to hide. Here we are 2000 years after the ultimate sacrifice was made by The Son to pay for things we are ashamed of and that make us want to hide and yet....he doesn't know it. Hasn't accepted it. Believes that it either didn't happen or that it doesn't affect him. I find this to be so utterly sad.

Fast forward to a month ago. We heard that a house burned down in our neighborhood. It was his. He lost everything, that is, out of nothing, nothing was left. The neighborhood took up a collection to help him out, we gave.  Later, he came by looking for work around our house, at the time we had nothing to be done but told him we would give him the job if something came up. Two weeks later, he is looking for odd jobs again, seems like the neighborhood has decided to hire a company with a truck to pick up our trash, he will be out of a job.

Today I looked up from the school room desk and out the screened in window to see him searching for something in my yard. I address him, he sees me and grins from ear to ear, "Ada sapu? (Is there a broom?)" he says.  "Ada, sebentar, Pak (There is, just a moment, sir)." Our yard had just been mowed and he wanted to sweep our grass clippings. I got money out to give him when he was done along with some soap, toothpaste, toothbrush and other toiletries that we had left over from the youth group's Easter gift bags for the kids at the brick makers village.  He never came to our door for money. We really feel like he wanted to feel like he had earned the help we have already given him. How can you not help a guy like that? He is as dirt poor as anyone I have ever seen and yet he is doing his dead level best to earn or repay.....what was freely given....sounds familiar again doesn't it? So lift up "OJ" so that one day he can drink of Living Water that he may never thirst again!

4. There are roughly 72 days left until we come home! Eeeeeek!! I am SO excited! We are all SO excited. Pray that we finish well. Already there is major conflict with so much left here to do before we come home and the major pull of longing for the familiar and seeing family and friends again. It's very much like senior-itus. Who can focus at a time like that?! Yet we have significant trainings, seed sowing work, language studies, and homeschooling to finish up on top of flying to Malaysia to check out the boarding school and renew our visas ,there is a team retreat, we need to pack up the house, get ready to send the kids to camp, go to Bali for a meeting and go to Singapore for our physicals, then fly to the US!! Wow, made me tired just typing that!!  That is a lot to do in about 10 weeks time!

5. Our visas have issues. This is one of those things that happens over here. Visas are never entirely secure it seems, whether you are on a social visa, a religious visa or a community development visa. Things change. We are letting our go in May, which is why we have to leave the country and will fly to Malaysia, and coming back in on a tourist visa for the last two months of our stay this year. Where we need your help is in lifting up that this issue will be resolved before we head back next year, or that there will be another viable option for us to obtain a visa that will allow us to continue our work.

So there you have it folks.  A few bits and pieces of what is going on in our lives.  I trust you had a blessed Easter celebration.  May you take time to truly focus on the work of the cross, and what the blood that was spilt means to you.  Because of it, how should you live your life?  How will it affect how and where you spend you time, your money, your resources?  One thing we do over here after sharing a "sacrifice story" from the Manual is ask, "Who is someone you can share this story with?"  to get them to think about it and retell it and spread Truth to others. 

So today I ask you, regarding the sacrifice of The Son,
 "Who will you share it with?"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Treasure Island?

Celebrating Chinese New Year, the year of the dragon, at a mall in the capitol city

It was made out of fabric, so gorgeous in person, not sure the camera captured it as beautiful as it looked

Even in the midst of Hudson's accident, this past week was one of such fantastic fun and great fellowship. I love hanging with my other islander gals! Thankfully, the same volunteers from VA (same ch*rch, mostly same people) have been coming over here for at least three years now to host our homeschool conference. What a blessing that has been. Good for us to establish friendships with them and also so great for our kids to have some continuity in their lives which are so often filled with goodbyes and change. Yes, they spoil us with fun food (like velveeta and still my heart!), test our kids, grade those tests (Iowa Standardized Tests) so that we have the results before we leave, but they also remind us that the CEO is still at work in the hearts of men! You may think that odd to say but many of us live in tough areas where results are.. s l o w ...! There is just something awesome about knowing that these people gave up vacation time, missed family birthdays, and spent over a thousand of their hard earned money during a not-so-great economy to come m*inister to us!

Yikes..asjdhdjf ...sorry it's hard to see the keyboard through the tears! I am so! If that doesn't amaze and humble you then you need to go to a hospital and see if your heart is still beating! I am so grateful that our company recognizes the need for this in our lives and that there are people so willing to make sacrifices to make it happen! I have said it before, but I will say it again...thank you Swift Creek BC Volunteers and ch*rch body!!

The girls thought the cupcake was cute, I think my sweet girls take the cake! :)
Now with that being said...It's the final day, we have said goodbye to the volunteers, most of our friends have left to catch their flights back home and Barry and I are in the middle of a 3 hour car ride coming back from changing our return airline tickets and buying Barry one. It's about that time that he gets "that look". No! Not "THAT LOOK"! He gives me the look that says, "I need to tell you something that you are not going to want to hear", I know that look.

I am not a fan of that look, it usually means that something in my life is about to change and there is usually no going back. GULP!!

Then as if according to a script he says, "Can I tell you something?" I type this I just realized that the next time he says those words I am just going to say, "No, no you can't!" :)

Anyway, remember that I have had a particularly stressful week dealing with Hudson and receiving treatment for him in a national hospital all the while hearing awful stories of things that have gone wrong for other people's children, it was a bit overwhelming. So as Barry speaks, all kinds of things flash through my mind, someone died, Hudson's arm isn't really okay, the rat escaped the storage room and ate my couch, or maybe we have been randomly selected to not go stateside this year! I mean all kinds of crazy stuff passed through my gray matter in just seconds, but I was not prepared for what that news really was....we could lose our home.

That was unexpected.

He proceeds to tell me that within seconds of hanging up with me from when I called to tell him that Hudson had broken his arm, our landlord stopped by and said that when the lease is up in May (right before stateside) he does not want to renew. He has family moving back to town and he wants it for them. Our company has been renting that house for like 11 years, it really never occurred to us that this could happen.

OOF.....(while that is one of our company's many, many, acronyms, it is also the sound made when one is punched in the gut!)


As I type this it is almost laughable that I find myself in a predicament where I am clinging to a house that 10 years ago would have made me cry if I had to move into it! Funny how perspective changes things.

For someone who all her life has wanted her own home, and yet never has, this is one of those times that I hear The CEO saying, "Trust me." Yes, a few tears were shed, and we discussed what Barry had discussed with our supervisors and other company personnel that deal with these issues and I have a peace about the whole thing now...though, make no mistake, I still don't want to have to move...but I also realize that a) I may have no choice, and b) I may be passing up a great opportunity picked special for us by the CEO.


"Where your treasure is......"

In the Manual, Matt 6, the Son is speaking about earthly possessions. In verse 19 He says "Don't collect treasures on earth". In essence He is saying "hold on loosely to things in this world". When you begin to cling to your stuff, then you lose control and your stuff begins to control you. In verse 24 the Son said, "You can't serve two masters, you'll love one and hate the other". "You cannot be slaves of both The CEO and money."

How awful it would be to be over here and cling to what little I possess and miss out on what the CEO had planned for us. Eeeek! We all know that clinging to our stuff causes anxiety and worry, both of which are sin in our lives. It all goes hand in hand. Who by worrying can add one day to their life, or in my case, keep hold of a house? No one....including me.


It's not just an artistic term for me anymore.

Please join us in lifting up this issue to the CEO. Remember, your words spoken to the CEO our our behalf and on the behalf of those we work with and try to reach are crucial to what we do.

While the other kids looked around, Haddon stayed with us and she fell in love with these boats on the fourth floor!
She also wanted to go sit in the lighthouse  but there was a group already eating in there.  So cute!
Haddie and Daddy on the boat!

Hanging out at our friends house, good food and lots of fun and laughter!

Excuse me, I am going to go drink a Dr. Pepper and eat a few Cheese Nips before the children wake up....uh...I mean...ya' know, I don't want them clinging too much to the things of this world. It's for the children, really! :)

Tune in next week to hear me say, "Hey, who ate the last Twizzler?"

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Incredible Twenty Seven Million Boy

Hudson sitting out of laser tag! Boo!

As I write this I am sitting in the guesthouse in "Starbucks", the capitol city. We had to change our plane tickets and will fly home this Thursday. Hudson has a follow up appointment on Wednesday, hopefully all will be healing well and he will be cleared to fly home at that time.

Hudson's procedure was last Thursday, all went very well. I was so proud of him, he was so brave and at peace.  PTL.

Here is a recount of surgery day: We left at 8am to be there at 11am, then the procedure would be about 1pm. See, the thing about "Starbucks" is that the traffic is a nightmare. Take Penn Square/Quail Springs traffic at Christmas time and multiply it by 100. That is not even an exaggeration. You do more sitting than driving. We were advised to leave three hours early for traffic, thankfully it didn't take that long but of course that meant extra time to wait at the hospital which I was afraid would give Hudson, and me, time to worry. It was midway through this ride that I received a phone call from Barry that he was taking the earliest flight available and would be at the hospital by the time Hudson was coming out of surgery. YAY!! I am not sure there are words that describe how happy I was for this news. Now I felt like I could breathe!

My friend Kathy kept watch over the other three kids and my friend Robin came with me thankfully, to keep us company. Hudson was not allowed to eat or drink after 8am, but I had packed Robin and I a little lunch to eat as this was going to be a long day. Getting there early helped them to move us along faster, Hudson was immediately taken back for an x-ray and before I knew it we were back in the surgery waiting room. The nurse came in with a hospital gown for Hudson, my friend Robin left the room, but the nurse stayed and asked Hudson to change. He was going, I don't think so! So she eventually leaves and gives us privacy. The anesthesiologist came by and explained everything to us, in English and then they took Hudson back for anesthesia. Next we were visited by Dr. Nico and Dr. Kiki, yes, that's right Nico and Kiki, almost sounds like a comedy duo doesn't it? :) I asked Dr. Nico just how would he be breaking Hudson's arm, to which is says with great flair and dramatic hand motions, that he will grab his arm and break it over his knee. LOL I said, that was what I was afraid of, except I wasn't kidding! I look over to Hudson and he is cracking up, whew! Then Dr. Nico explained that he would be using his hands while using a miniature computerized x-ray machine that would show him where to apply the pressure. He really was a great Dr. and we feel very blessed that The CEO had so obviously taken care of us by providing him. Within 30 minutes from the start of the procedure, Hudson was in recovery and did great! He was in quite a bit of pain post-procedure but after some pain meds that day, he has not experienced any pain since...none! What a blessing and a relief!!

After paying 25 million for the hospital/doctor bill, we left. It was almost 4pm by that time and Hudson was feeling great after the meds and anxious to get back to the big cook off and program that night. Oh...did I mention that was 25 million Rp, not dollars? :) So this whole thing, temporary cast and surgery, anesthesia, and new cast cost about $3000.00 total. I have to say that the first day at the clinic, where he got his temporary cast, handing my credit card over when they say it is two million is a bit disconcerting! Ha! I know they mean Rupiah but still, it sounds like so much! I am on a campaign to get them to drop all the zeros in their money, it just seems so confusing, but no one seems to listen! :) Have you heard that there are three kinds of people in this world? Those who are good at math and those who aren't! Hahaaaa...that is so me! Get it?

Hudson's friend Matthew just let his ticket to "Folgers" go, and is staying at the guesthouse with us, so at least they are still able to hang out and be together. Mind you, we were not intending to stay another week so we are having to get creative to find things to do. Not that Jakarta is short of activities, it's just that activities for 7 people and two taxis everywhere can add up! Fortunately there is a pool at the annex across the street and a mall nearby with great restaurants. There is also a decent mall with a grocery store within walking distance, and we have a well equipped kitchen here, so that is nice.

Thank you all so much for the prayers, emails and messages of encouragement. They have meant so much to us and once again The CEO has proven himself faithful to be with us in the midst of all things. We serve a great G*d!!  In the midst of all of this we were spoiled by the volunteers from Swift Creek B*ptist Ch*rch from VA.  Thank you to all who you who gave of yourselves for us!!

Here are some other pics of our time here:  Oh, and kids did great with their testing! Yay!! :)

The girls getting ready for laser tag!  Haddon lasted one game..she was to hot!

The girls made and gave away these photo prop Valentine's, these were the girl's cards.

These were the boy's cards. They loved going to a Valentine's party!!

The kids had to share a "Love Project" they had done in their community and Marshall created a power point.

They did a great job sharing and despite the broken arm, fun has been had and they loved being with theri friends!!

When You Say You Need a Specific! :)

Just an fyi...I wrote this last week and never posted it.  I decided to go ahead and send it and then I will update you in the next post. :)

Not a lot of time to blog but wanted to update those of you not on FB that Hudson has broken his arm.  We are in Jakarta for a homeschool conference and while he was playing football with several friends  there was a big tangle of kids and his arm got stepped on or tripped over.  Either way it ended up with an incomplete fracture.

Some dear friends of ours, who live in Jakarta, took us to the expat (foreigner) clinic where they immediately took Hudson in to be examined and x-rayed.  Thankfully they spoke great English there and so I felt very comfortable and so did Hudson.  I have to admit here that.....I am not really good in crisis type situations.  Like, don't ever pick me to make life or death decisions, it won't be pretty.  I blank out, stutter in my responses and generally look like I had a lobotomy the day before, is that a clear enough picture?  So while I was confronted with several options and questions on insurance and means of treatment, I went nearly catatonic and my sweet friend Charlotte would then gently prompt me in the right direction after I looked at her with pleading eyes that begged her to tell me what to say.  Charlotte....THANK YOU!!  I have so much more to share about this I hope to get back to it some day, just not enough time right now.

We got in touch with our company Dr. who then set me up with a national Dr. who arranges things for us with national doctors.  So with his help we set up an appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon.  After an hour long taxi ride in this hideous Jakarta traffic, we had to wait almost two hours at this national hospital because the Dr. was detained.  I sheepishly admit that when they came to tell me that he was going to be late...I was asleep!  LOL  How embarrassing, I literally fell asleep in the chair waiting.  The lady giggled when she noticed that she had woken me up!  The first hour we were entertained by the saltwater fish tank that, intending to or not, resembled a real life "Finding Nemo" scene!  It was very cool to watch and to see all of the live coral, but by the time we entered that second hour of waiting.....Hudson and I were no longer enthralled by the fish!

Seriously, by the second hour I was resorting to singing songs about Dr. Nico (whom we were waiting on) much to Hudson's chagrin...but at least I got a laugh out of him with my terrible rhymes!  Now, Hudson is feeling okay, but so anxious to get back to his friends.  This is one of two times a year that they can all be together and they definitely make the most out of it!  In fact, one of the problems that this broken arm is causing him is that his friend Matthew was coming to "Folgers" to spend about 5 days with us (because in the life, sleepovers involve plane rides!).   He is worried about what they can do and if we will be able to fly back home on Friday.

Finally we were called back and we were greeted by Dr. Nico, and Dr. Teddy who had arranged the appointment.  Dr. Nico is a bit eccentric but in a fun way not in a creepy way. :)  But I am not kidding I bet he used the words, "Crack his arm" like 15 times in a row!  I was like, please can we use another word!!  Ouch!  His English was pretty good but he kept saying one word that I still have no idea what he was talking about, and really, this is not a time to just smile and nod when they are talking about putting your son under!  Thankfully Dr. Teddy walked us out and made sure we understood everything clearly.  So all in all, I felt very good about the care that Hudson was receiving.  If you remember what Barry went through in a "Macchiato" hospital then you understand that I have major apprehensions regarding national hospitals..

After removing the cast and observing his arm, it was very obvious that Hudson's bone was bowing out, or angulated, as the professionals say.  I guess since the bones of kids still have some elasticity, this is the problem with an incomplete fracture.  The Dr. said a complete fracture or break is actually better.  Well, leave it up to us to do it right! :)

As it stands now, Hudson will have the procedure to "re-crack" his arm and set it straight on Thursday before lunch.  They felt that waiting a few days would be fine and enable Hudson to complete his testing which is what we came to Jakarta for initially.  I am not sure he was so thrilled about that  but he has really been a trooper.

Thank you, we love you and appreciate all the love and concern so many of you have already poured out to us!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Am Developing Trust Issues

It's true. I walked into the kitchen the other day, after a key event, and told Barry I was beginning to have trust issues with him, which caused him to laugh.

Now, before you call Member Care and sign us up for marriage counseling, let me explain the reason for my trust issues.

Step back in time with me to my second year of marriage. The year is 1991. We were living in Little Rock, AR, (Here's a shout out to all my Geyer Springs FBC peeps!) as newlyweds, living in bliss, enjoying student m*inistry, and eating at Tony's Egg Roll King (yes, Tony, and he was Chinese! lol) Instead of raising our salary, the church moved us into a house that was on property that they were in the process of building a new church building on. The house was a bit run down, but had an old charm to it. In fact, here is a funny side note, one day the pastor took us out to eat at Tony's Egg Roll King and talked to us about moving into the house and took us out to see it. As we are leaving the house and going back to the church office, Barry mentioned that it's not a bad little house and suggested that maybe the pastor might want to fix it up and move there himself, to which the pastor replied "No, that house is too old, when you guys are done with it we are going to tear it down." Hahahaa That still makes me laugh. I know what he meant, but I don't think it came out like he planned! I always wondered if he realized how that sounded.

Back to the story. We moved in and since we had a water bed, and it had just been filled, it was too cold to sleep on that first night so we opted to sleep on our big orange sleeper sofa that someone had given us. We snuggled into bed and I drifted off to sweet dreams of how I was going to decorate the house and make it our home.  That is until "it" happened. "It" is when I woke up to see Barry out of bed and shaking our covers and sheets.  Now, since in the last year or so of being married to him, he had never exhibited this type of behavior I ask him what he is doing. His response? "Nothing, it's okay, just go back to sleep." What? So now I am fully awake and want to know what is going on, only to find out that as Barry was laying there not quite into lullaby land, he felt something run across his chest. Run.Across.His.Chest. What? In 2 seconds flat I am out of that bed and lo and behold, there were mouse droppings in the bed. In.The.Bed.  Needless to say, I sat up on the couch all night wrapped in my quilt and we watched mice run all over that place. It was infested in a major way. The church sent an exterminator the next day thank goodness, but that was a rough start and I still cannot believe Barry said "Nothing's wrong, go back to sleep."

Now to the present time, 2012. It is 6am and I am doing some morning dishes from breakfast when I think I see something run under the stove. Now, listen, we constantly have cicaks (cheechaks=geckos) running around our house. That is normal. So I am looking at the direction and thinking to myself, was that a cicak? It was awfully dark colored, but the cicak by the trash can is always dark because the trash bag is black.  As I am pondering this, a huge..HUGE..HUGE rat comes running from under my stove into the storeroom.  There is a slight chance that I may be exaggerating it's hugeness, I mean I didn't get a great look because I was too busy screaming my fool head off!  It was definitely bigger than anything I have ever seen in a  house!  Five months, I only had five more months to make and we could have been rat free for three years, but no, it had to happen.  Have I heard them in my roof before? Yes, all running and squealing around in there but never had they made it into my home.  This means war.  It must die.  If you love rats and are going to write and tell me how cute or whatever you think they the risk of sounding rude, don't.  I don't care to hear it. Just go watch Ratatouille and keep those warm fuzzy thoughts to yourself.  (Like who was the brainiac at Disney that thought rats in the kitchen was a good idea?!)    It will die.  Make no mistake.  Fast, Slow, quick or painful makes no difference to me, seriously.  Let there be no confusion where I stand on this.

So..where does the trust issue come in?  After all this transpires and I make Marshall shut the storeroom door so that I can trap the rat and devise my plan for his immediate death, Barry says that he thought there might be one because he had been hearing something under the stove!  Seriously?  And he said nothing?  Nothing, to the person that he loves and who half of everyday stands at that stove making meals for her family?  Let me tell you people, I have to get down on my knees every time I want to use the oven and light the flame myself.  On.My.Knees.  Do you understand how close that rat has been to me?  I shudder at the thought even as I type.  SHUDDER!!

Do you see my point now?  To be fair, Barry's explanation is that he doesn't want me to be worried or afraid if there isn't a need to be.  Isn't that sweet?  Uh, whatever! :)  So now you know why, as he says this statement in light of this event and as I recall the story from 21 years ago, I am having trust issues with my dear husband.  I love the man, but in this area...........he has some 'splaining to do!

Let it be known that he went and bought about four different forms of rat traps and poisons.  So he has taken steps toward redeeming himself.  That being said, until I see a carcass, I still have issues!! :)

My hero preparing the glue trap

Lots of good sticky glue

The girls run for protection behind their barricade as Barry opens the store room door to place the trap

Be watching for next week's post where Marshall becomes a human banana split!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Fire Station

How did I forget the picture of the fire station?  I just want you to gain perspective on this situtaion.  This was just built in the past year.  There is a much larger fire station at the Chevron Oil Camp that is similar to what most of us are use to. 

Happy New Year friends and loved ones!  This  year, 2012 = 6 months in Macchiato + 6 months in the USA....sounds perfect to me! :)