Wednesday, November 25, 2009

School has finished

Well, God brought us through!  Houghton finished is last class on Thursday and graduation was Friday afternoon.  We have been enjoying having him home!  This year has been so "full on" that it is a bit weird to have some down time (well sort of - since we are moving its not really "down").  We are enjoying the amazing weather and amazing blessing of family, three wonderful kids who are thrilled to have dad around, and the anticipated get together with friends to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Since pictures is what you all probably want.. :) pictures is what you get.  BUT if you DO want some more info... I will hopefully will you all in with our upcoming newsletter. ;) 

We have LOVED going on bike rides.  Si is able to ride by himself with his bike and we are borrowing this handy little bike carrier thing for the girls!  Gotta love Gwen's expression here. ;)

Si is quite a little cricket/baseball player.  Which game he is playing depends on if it is me or dad bowling/or pitching the ball for him. :)

Houghton recently celebrated his 30th birthday.

Si and Gwen at family camp. We went for a short weekend with almost all of our church body.  What a blessing that weekend was to our little family!

We set up our hammock to enjoy some relaxation. 

Addy, Alana, and Gwen

Our little family

The water was cold, but somehow it really doesn't even matter when you are camping! ;)

Gwen sporting daddy's aussie cowboy hat

Si had this little bug for a friend all day.  Thankfully it was happy to hang out on his finger as he went about his day.

Tania and I before our end of the school banquet

Making baked apples

Houghton at graduation

Thursday, October 22, 2009

September showers bring October flowers

Yeah, that saying just doesn't have the same ring to it.  But we are SO thankful for our summer to be coming around the corner!  Here are some pics of late.  Houghton has 5 weeks (well 4 1/2 really YIPPEE) left until school is finished.  So we are gearing up for yet another move!  Thankfully we don't have a whole lot to shift around.  But it is amazing what you acquire if you are in one spot long enough.

Gwen and I went out and picked flowers for the table

A surprisingly clean Addy!  Usually she finds whatever mud or dirt she can get her hands on.

Yes!!!  My little Si loves to help mop

Yep, they can be pretty cute sometimes!

Got a package from Great Grandma!

While mom was away...Addy played!


My mom sent us the Jesus film for kids and boy have they been learning from that.  It seemly has cemented some stuff in Si's mind.  Stories that we have been reading for years come to life and it has been amazing to watch him learn through this movie!  You should check it out if you can get your hands on one.
tata for now!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Crazy Gretchen

:)  Hey guys.  Just wanted to let you know that I (aka crazy Gretchen) have finally settled on a background for our blog. ;)  I'm sure you are thinking, "didn't they just change this?"  YES we did, but it was just too boring for me and well, I am much happier now. Yep, I'm weird.

Only 5 more weeks of school for Hought.  YAY!  We all have BIG plans for some down time.  Some fishing time (Si is really looking forward to this), maybe some camping in our new tent (a huge thanks to a church in Bridgeport, NE), and LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of nothingness. ;) 

Our girlies are pretty sick with bad respiratory colds and so that means they have to take it easy and stay inside (nearly an impossible task for Gwen).  Can you be praying that they would heal quickly and that the rest of us would be spared from it?

Well, I am getting an evil eye from Houghton...maybe it is time for bed!? It is only a couple minutes past I gotta start getting to bed earlier.

We love hearing from you and if you have sent us an e-mail THANKS!  We hope to respond to you soon!!

Monday, October 05, 2009


We have uploaded our new newsletter.  Check it out.  Just click the "newsletter" tab on the right.....

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Check out our new video!!!!

It is our desire to keep you as updated as possible with what God is doing with the ministry in Vanuatu and here now in Australia.  These videos are aimed at communicating with you in such a way that keeps you informed!  If and when you have any questions.... let us know!

Enjoy!  This video was also sent out to all of the churches we visited while we were in the states.  So if you want to have this video shown in your church, talk with your missions leader or pastor and they should have received one!  If not, let us know.

Thanks again for your service with us!

To God be the glory.

 (click this link to go to the video)

Team Vanuatu Oct 09

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gwenyth turned 3!

 This last Monday (14th)  we got to celebrate Gwen's life for another year.  What an amazing blessing her life has been.  Here are some pictures for you to get a glimpse of her day.  Wish you all could have joined the celebrations with us! :)

Amber made Gwen's hair look so lovely!!!

Gwen was making funny noises coming down to show dad her hair

She had a pink butterfly party.  So I made butterfly cakes, we had little glittery butterflies all over the house (and still do I might add).  Laura was helping me get it all organized.  I wasn't sure what the weather might do (here in Melbourne it changes a million times a day) so I was ready for the party to be inside the house if need be.

The weather was WONDERFUL praise God.  So we were able to hang out in the yard.

 A friend from church Marie-Clare, volunteered to do face painting!  What an awesome gift that was!  It was a HUGE hit.  Naturally Gwenny got a butterfly.
How cute is this face!?

Si was a snake!

 Addy got a rainbow.
A friend, Asha, had a princess crown.

Katelyn with a rooster (a very creative one!  Way to go Marie-Clare!)

Josh was Bumblebee the transformer

Grace, a snow leapord

Piper, a cat

Sorin, a monkey

Zoe, had flowers on each cheek.

 My beautiful little girlies! 

Si and Asha eating cake together.  I thought this was a cute moment.  I love that they just ate it off the ground like that!  Well with plates. :)

Blowing those 3 candles out!  With some help from dad.

Our little birthday girl.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Hey guys!

What a blessing this month has been for us. God has been so faithful to answer our prayers concerning the school semester. This semester has proven to be more manageable (or maybe we are just handling it better) and we are able to happily function as a family and be involved in ministry. The first semester tested us with our patience and faithfulness to study His Word. We are SO thankful for the prayers that so many of you uttered for us during that time. We know that it was Vital to our relationship with others and with our Father.
God has used this time in Australia to train and strengthen us for the many challenges that lie ahead.
Thank you so much for hanging in there during this year of schooling.
We are nearing a two week break. YIPEE! :)
The kids have been enjoying some warmer weather! And so has mom!!! They are able to play outside along with 7 other kids here on campus ! What a special time it has been for them!
Houghton continues to excel in his classes. He is so disciplined in his study habits and it has paid off which has been such a blessing. He is excited about the skills he has learned and we are SO ANXIOUS to apply them in a real life situation in Vanuatu!
Here are just some pictures of the past couple weeks.

The International Banquet at our church that concluded the missions emphasis month.Enjoying some food and friends!!!!

Si and Jacob

Stef, Addy, Alana, and Gwen
Si checking out his Wii skills! We totally have to get one of these! SO FUN!

This was taken on the drive home from visiting with our friends (in the previous pics) that live about 1 hour away. The kids always play hard.Their mean pirate faces

Sorry this picture didn't come out very clear, one of the ministries Houghton is involved in is teaching Sunday School.

Saw these amazing rainbows on the way home from church. They were some of the most vibrant rainbows we have seen, short only to those we saw in Vanuatu. There is something about being in this part of the world maybe? They say the sun is stronger so maybe that has something to do with it.

A cuddle on the bed