Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dear Motorist

We now have a car!  Look out Manila here we come!
Thanks to some folks who have now become good friends we are proud owners of a Cherry QQ308.  We're so grateful to Richard and Liza for all of their hard work in hunting down the perfect car for us!  It was such a blessing to find something to fit our budget and parking spot at our Condo!  It has some pretty sweet features too!  Like the windows that automatically roll up when you get out and lock the car.  And let's not forget to mention the fact that it's an AMT, which mean Automatic Manual Transmission, which means it's a manumatic.  Yeah I told you it was sweet!
This week has been a big one for us.  We got our car, and tonight our container arrives at our place!  It's so nice to be settling in and making our home here.  And best of all...making friends!  Thanks again Richard and Liza!!
More to come soon!

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dear Record Holder,

This might have been the craziest race I've ever been a part of, but it was totally worth every minute of it!  I was pumped when I saw multiple billboards for races here in Manila, but I knew I had to be a part of this one.
Jessie and Cory (our teammates) had been running as well, so they agreed to sign up for the race with us.  The most exciting thing about this race is that it made it in the Guinness Book of World Records last year with over 116,000 runners.  

This was their first run ever!  And I told them they were rockstars in my book because we had to get up at 2 am to meet them by 3 to then commute to where the race was starting.  Only a crazy runner does something like that!  They've got it in their blood!
We were pumped when we got there.  
Jordan was excited to be there too!  
We were all lined up ready to go at 4am just like the paper had asked us to be.  Just another 45 minutes and we'd be well on our way.  
Don't mind my scary beady eyes.  
We wanted to make sure we weren't too close to the start because we didn't want to get trampled but we were still so far off.  
See the glowing square in the center...yeah that's the starting point.  So we waited and we waited.  And random cheers broke out every now and again.  By 6am the gun finally went off, and we waited and waited.  Finally walking across the starting line 20 minutes later.  
We tried to run as much as we could, but they predicted 150,000 people would be there this year!  Do you know what it's like to dodge in and out of 150,000 people!?  It was crazy!
We ran passed Manila Bay.
This was about halfway through the race.  It never really opened up.  It was incredible.  
Even this little dog was having a good time.
According to my Nike+ we actually ran a 6.67km and it took us 53:33.  Definitely not a race for time, but wow, what an experience.
And for their first race, these guys did awesome!
What a fun day!  We're totally pooped but we were laughin and havin a good time all morning!
I'm loving being in this new city and experiencing all kinds of firsts!  I've never run with so many people and I've got my fingers crossed I'll be a part of the Guinness Book of World Records this year.  


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dear Fellow Learner,

I am a student again on so many levels.  On the one hand, I feel like I'm relearning everything.  There are some days when it's all so exciting and new, and other days where the little things can feel so overwhelming.  But I am a student literally as well.  One of the many things we're involved with here in Manila is Baptist Bible College Asia.  I've decided the best way to learn what's going on with the college and how the students are taught is to take a class myself.  So I am taking Survey of Basic Life 1 with Mrs. LuAnn Lyons.        
It's been a great class so far and even if it's not necessarily anything new, it's been good to revisit basic principles of Christian living as I find myself in a completely new place.  The biggest part of that is finding my security in God alone:  being assured of who I am in Him as I find my place amongst a whole new people group.  It's also been a great learning experiences to get to hang with this lady and be in a class with her.  LuAnn knows how to run a tight ship and keep her family in line and fully functioning.  I feel so blessed to have someone like her for a mentor as I find my way as a wife, and someday a mom, in a foreign land.    
Within this class there are students who have become my teachers as well.  They are eager to help me learn Tagalog.  Amy (Ah-mee) finds me at every break and goes over the alphabet, numbers and small words, coaching me along and encouraging me to keep learning.  
  I know someday we'll be able to converse in Tagalog, but for now I pray for patience:  as I learn my role, this culture and all that God has in store for me.  It's gonna be a great ride.  


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dear Sweet Tooth,

Everyone knows the best way to ones heart, is through their tummy.  And while our team is all still trying to get to know each other and bond, I thought I would get them to love me early on by doing what I know best...baking cookies!
And boy did it work!  

I've been curious for a while now how grocery shopping and cooking would work here.  I'm so excited to try new things and incorporate them into my repertoire, but I'm also glad to know I can still make things I know.  And these cookies I know.  They've been a staple in our household for quite a long time, and they're my all time favorite sugar cookie recipe!  Now, they're not healthy...but remember I'm trying to get them all to love me first! =)  

*Though I actually did make two different kinds of cookies and the other one was healthy and probably loved almost equally as much.* 

But let's cover this recipe first:

Basic Sugar Cookies
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

In large bowl, beat sugar and butter until fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into sugar mixture.  Form into two lumps and wrap in wax paper and chill for 1 hour or overnight.  The longer it sits the better it is.  Preheat oven to 350.  Roll out dough to 1/4-1/8 inch thick.  Using cookie cutters, cut out various shapes.  Place 1 inch apart on cookie sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly browned on bottom.  Cool on rack before frosting.

*I always double this recipe for parties and groups.  

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick butter
1 package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Allow butter and cream cheese to soften to room temperature.  Place all three ingredients in mixing bowl, and beat with mixers until light and fluffy. 

Can't wait to share many more recipes with you!  This is only the start.  You should definitely make these cookies over the holiday season.  Your friends will love you....I promise!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hello Dearest Friend,

There are times I never thought this day would come.  Times where it all seemed like a dream.  We've been talking about the Philippines for over three years now, and here I sit...on the other side of the world writing this post.

It's all so surreal still.  And it's exciting and scary at the same time.  We began making our descent to Manila  on October 26th.  We said goodbye to our families and friends and packed the rest of our lives away in five suitcases.  

And now we're here.  Ready for all that God has in store for us in the years to come.  And I don't want to forget any of it.  And so this blog begins.  With thoughts, tales, and trials from this missionaries perspective.  

I'll talk to you again soon,