Thursday, August 11, 2011

Project 365, The Catch-Up Edition

Taking a month off blogging, and especially Project 365, was not part of the plan. But life happens.

We'd heard the stories from other missionaries, about how much traveling is involved during home ministries. But until we began to experience it we didn’t really grasp HOW MUCH TRAVELING IS INVOLVED. 

Last night we pulled into the driveway about 10:30 p.m. The house was stuffy from being closed up for six days but we opened all the windows and the cool night air freshened it right up. We're SOOO thankful for cooler weather!

And for the many miles of safe travel. We've clocked close to 8,000 miles so far and we're only half-way through our six months. [And that doesn't include the trip I took with my sister, to visit family in Kentucky and Tennessee.]

Most of the time we've stayed in places without internet access so just keeping up with e-mails has been a challenge. Last week I'd planned to get a post up while we were home but OUR internet went down for a whole day. So much for that idea...

Even though it's been over a month, I do not have an over abundance of photos to share. I totally dropped the ball with Project 365, sometimes going days without taking a single photo :(  But here's what I do have...

In the process of clearing out my MIL's house I came across a couple of old quilts and brought them home to wash. Sadly I was not able to get the stains out. I thought I could create Christmas stockings from the unstained portions, for each of the kids and grandkids, but someone else (who shall remain nameless **cough* *the hubs* *cough** cough**) feels that things should remain in their original condition. So they went back to languish and take up shelf space in my MIL's closet. Here's the one that had simply been tied off rather than quilted:
Ivan thought it funny that the blocks have the swastika but these actually go counter-clockwise. Plus, I found this explanation online: Until the Nazis used this symbol, the swastika was used by many represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck. Even in the early twentieth century, the swastika was still a symbol with positive connotations. In ancient times, the direction of the swastika was interchangeable as can be seen on an ancient Chinese silk drawing.

On July 13th we helped out with the summer reading program at our local library, as they're focusing on stories from around the world. It was actually a two-fer since Ivan dressed up in his gaucho outfit and read an Argentine folk story...
...and I dressed up in my African gomez and showed the kids some of our Ugandan keepsakes; then they watched a video of the book, Beatrice's Goat. Lovely story and at the end of the video the author introduced the now grown-up Beatrice.

The library is one of my favorite places and I go about every other day that we're home :) Isn't this sculpture just adorable? It sits out in front:

Mom's apartment has turned out so well!  Here's a shot of the "living room" (which is part of, and open to, the dining area and kitchen):
The blue curtain panels are linen and were only $10 per panel at Tuesday Morning. Mom already had the lace panels. It's a perfect combination that allows light in but provides a measure of privacy. The painting above the couch is an original oil done by a dear family friend from Argentina who has since passed away. There's another painting by the same artist on the wall next to the window. The loveseat was a gift from good friends and it fits the space so well, and the colors are picked up in other pieces (blue, cream and tan from the paintings and pink from the piano bench).

At the end of July Mom celebrated her 90th birthday with a small celebration that included friends and family. Here she is with two of her friends:
The woman on the far right was also a missionary in Argentina so they have been friends for many, many years. Now she and mom live just down the hall from each other.

Several Sundays ago we were at Clear Lake Bible Church in Fremont, Indiana. We've never seen so many stained glass windows! Here are the ones at the front of the church:
But there were also a number on the sides and back, and even in other parts of the church.

Last week I was THRILLED when the FedEx truck pulled into the driveway! I knew it meant my KITCHENAID had arrived!!! After days of DMD (decision-making disorder) I finally ordered the Artisan in the color Ice. Isn't it gorgeous?!

Last Friday we met up with friends in Shipshewana for the day. Ivan and Richard are pretending to be part of the sculpture:
Another odd scene at the Enchanted Gardens; this spaceship/alien vignette:
We also enjoyed checking out the antique booths that were being set up in Shipshewana for a big show over the weekend.

The next day we were off to meet up with another couple at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo. We'd been to the Zoo back in the early 90s but they've added a lot of new exhibits since then. It was especially fun for Ivan to go through with David, a friend who knows a lot about aviation. Sandy and I kept running on ahead and then looking around for the guys. They were always lagging way behind, often talking to one of the museum docents who knew lots of fun "inside" stuff. I was fascinated by these wooden propellers:
Can you imagine how much work went into creating such a beautiful and functional piece?!

It's interesting to see how churches have been designed/decorated. This past Sunday we were at Green Lake Calvary in Caledonia. This enormous painting is above the main doors leading into the sanctuary:

That afternoon we headed farther north, past Muskegon. In the evening service Ivan shared an object lesson using an hornero nest that his dad brought to the states probably 40 years ago. After an old fashioned ice cream sundae social we went home with a good friend and supporter. Joyce hosted us on our first visit to New Era Bible and has since provided a "home away from home" whenever we're in the area. She's another avid quilter so we had to play Show-'N-Tell :) This is a quilt she made with blocks that someone gave her -- they'd been rescued from being thrown away!
I hate to think how many UFOs (unfinished objects) have been thrown away by family or friends who have no idea the time and money that goes into creating quilt blocks and tops.

Joyce has a long-arm quilter and kindly showed me how to use it. We worked on a baby quilt and a double lap quilt, so now all that's left to do is the binding.
It took two days to finish them because we kept stopping to have fun :) Joyce gets together every Monday with a group of friends for lunch, and then they play Dominoes. She may look like a kindly grandmother, but she's a cut-throat Dominoes player! She and her friends also taught us a new game that uses three decks of cards.

Once we had the quilts done, Ivan took apart the frame so he could trace the individual parts -- and yes, he put it back together after :)
He bought me a quilt frame some years ago (which we've never had room to set up) and he thinks he can modify it to be able to use with a long-arm machine.

Joyce lives just a couple miles from Lake Michigan so one day we went to a park that overlooks the lake. I used the timer to take this shot of the three of us:

Every morning we'd get up and walk a mile with Joyce before breakfast. When we started yesterday, the clouds looked rather menacing over the family farm:
But by the time we got back to the house, the clouds were all gone. [Note: this photo is completely untouched; I was surprised at the intensity of the colors when I downloaded photos to the computer.]

I've learned my lesson: No more promises to do better in the future. If at all possible, I'll post more often but we still have a LOT of traveling ahead and no guarantees of internet access.