New Routine

Obviously I have not posted much here the last two years. My routine has changed, but I haven’t gotten my blogging worked back into the new schedule. There was a time when I would get all my writing done at night before going to bed. But with schedule changes that has been harder to do. So I am going to try a morning writing routine.

Where Are We?

We moved back from Argentina at the end of 2011. I have been working in our mission board office since then. That does not mean I am stuck within the 4 walls of the office. Since I posted about going to Ethiopia last year, I have been in Costa Rica and Mexico. The Costa Rica trip was to visit one of our missionaries working with the Deaf. The whole family made the trip to Mexico for 3 months. It was great to be back with all our old friends.

Writing

I am still writing for What Christians Want to Know. As with this site, my writing schedule has gotten turned upside down with having real office hours. You would think that regular hours would afford me structured time to write, but I have other responsibilities that keep me occupied in the office.

IT Guy

The IT man at our office took a job in another state. I was working as his assistant in the office while he came in as necessary. But now that he is not able to visit physically, I have taken over the responsibilities completely. I am still spending quite a bit of time getting my head wrapped around everything, but I think I am figuring most of it out.

Hopefully I won’t be as much of a stranger in these parts.

Merry December!

And a Happy Christmas to you!

Thanksgiving

We had a good Thanksgiving meal with a cousin who lives in the area. I am 15 years older than he is and his parents had moved away from the rest of the family when he was born. This cousin and I have only been together fewer than 10 times in our lives. It was kinda funny since we are cousins but don’t really know each other. But, since there are no introverts on my dad’s side of the family, we didn’t feel like strangers.

House

We got moved into our house. I think we are closing in on 3 weeks here. Most of the boxes upstairs are unpacked. It looks like we are settling in. That is, until you check out the piles of unopened boxes downstairs. There is still plenty of work to do.

Furniture

We had a friend over to the house a couple of weeks ago for supper. We only owned 2 chairs at the time (actually, they are borrowed from the office). Thankfully we have a couple of 5-gallon buckets and short trash cans to sit on. That is what we boys used while the girls used the real chairs.

When we were with my cousin for Thanksgiving dinner he gave us 4 dining-room table chairs. We let our most recent lunch guests sit in real chairs. Fancy.

While driving to the library on Saturday we saw some furniture sticking out of a dumpster. Not wanting to pass up a potentially good deal we had to check it out. We pulled enough parts out to scab together a recliner and threw it into the trunk of the car. With a few screws, a hammer and some ingenuity I was able to get a very comfortable recliner out of the deal.

It’s not pretty, but it’s functional.

Upcoming

Our daughter reminds us each morning how many days are left until my birthday. She knows that Christmas can’t come until my birthday is here. She isn’t sure how many days after my birthday that Christmas will come (10 days), but she does know it is a formality that has to be dealt with. [This ends your yearly subtle reminder that you still have time to buy me something. I don’t mind if it arrives late.]

There are lots of Christmas activities coming up in the church. I get to speak at one of the Christmas gatherings next week. I am looking forward to it.

We will be home most of this month and the next. It is a great time to get settled in before we begin traveling in February.

Whatcha Getting for Christmas?

We got a new house. Top that!

A church we were in last month gave my wife a gift card for Target. She bought a Kindle. I got a “new” recliner. We bought a machete for our son so he can mow the lawn. He doesn’t seem that excited about it. Maybe we will get him a pair of scissors for Christmas so he can trim the bushes. Our daughter found 2 new friends up the street. We have all had a profitable December so far.

Time to take off the shoes

While we are not in Kentucky or West Virginia, we are close enough that we can go barefooted all the time. We completed the move to East Tennessee last week. We moved up here to be closer to our mission board office where I will be working as our home base.

Since we got here last week we have looked at several houses to potentially buy. There is one that has stood out. The price is a little high, but there are a couple of problems with the house and sellers that may drive the price down significantly. The house is within the area we want to live and has all the¬†amenities¬†we wanted. We just can’t pay the asking price.

That may be a moot point as we found out last night that foreclosure proceedings have already started. That means they can’t sell it at any price at this point. We will have to deal with the bank unless a couple of big hurdles get knocked over.

While it sounds like a mess, it really is a position I like to be in. The decision is not ours at this point. The bank has to process the house and deal with it in one of a couple of different ways. It depends on how everything falls together over the next three weeks that will determine if we can buy the house. If it doesn’t go in our favor, then we will take it as a sign that this was not the house for us.

While looking for a house to buy, we have a friend in the church who is letting us rent his house for a reasonable price without any obligations. If we stay a year, that is fine. If we move out next week, that is acceptable as well.

We won’t be doing our normal traveling until the end of October. We will be in town over the next few weeks to deal with everything that is necessary with buying a house.

Exciting times!

Cup of coffee anyone? How about a doughnut?

Coffee cup with a built-in doughnut holder.I saw this coffee mug tonight on a website and thought of a few friends. Wouldn’t it be great to take this to the office kitchen and load up on a cup of coffee and a doughnut? Or, you could slide a couple of cookies in the mouth.

Of course, there are a couple of issues with the whole idea.

First, are there always doughnuts or cookies in the office lounge? It would seem like a great waste of coffee space to carry a mug around that only half of it was dedicated to coffee. I do have a second hand. I always assumed its purpose was to carry around my doughnuts and cookies.

The second problem is that the coffee might heat up the doughnut too much. Then you would have chocolate ooze dripping off your mug as you walked back to your desk. That is, assuming you eat chocolate doughnuts. Personally I like mine glazed (yes, I also prefer vanilla ice cream). Either way, you have a sticky mess falling from your cup onto the floor or on your desk. I would rather have the doughnut drip on my hand so that I can lick up every bit of sugar available.

I am not sure if the second problem is worse than the first or vice versa. They are both serious problems. But carrying a coffee cup that is only half full of coffee seems to be the greater of the two problems to me.

If you are so inclined to purchase one, you can pick up the Face Mug at Amazon for $18.

Daddy Can Visit

Picture of 3 kittensTonight we walked by a lady’s house who has 18 cats. Our 7-year-old daughter said that she wants cats when she grows up. My wife, who is allergic to cats, told our daughter that she could have all the cats she wanted when she got older.

I said, “But remember, Mommy is allergic to cats. If you have a bunch of cats that means Mommy can’t come and visit you at your house.”

Without even thinking about it she said, “That’s OK. Daddy can come and visit.”