27 August 2009

Back to School

This week Jim has returned to school, and we even started a little pre-school with Faith! We're working on following directions and learning Bible verses, and later will get more into letters and numbers. I acquired a set of alphabet flash cards quite a while ago, but never looked at them. They are... um... a little confusing when it comes to "c".
Ten points of extra credit to whoever can come up with a clever way to dispel Faith's confusion!

22 August 2009

Remembering Grandma

It's been a while since we posted here... sorry! Seems that time has gotten away from us. I (Jim) would like to share a few thoughts from Grandma's memorial service about a week ago. Her 4 children wrote a "Tribute to Mama" which I was honored to read part of, along with my cousins Rob and Lisa. I'd like to share a couple excerpts:

"Of course no tribute would be complete without mention of Daddy. He and Mama were a team not only in the rearing of children, but in the way they tackled the issues of life. They were, in fact 'one flesh' as described in scripture... ... Mama and Daddy met in Paonia and dated for about two years; they were married on June 12, 1946, the day after she graduated from the University of Denver with a bachelor's degree in library science... ...For the past 63 years they have lived in the home they first moved into though it has been enlarged and updated.

Six days a week Mama and Daddy worked very hard on the farm. Although Mama's first responsibility was homemaking, she often helped Daddy when called upon - like when the tractor got stuck and it took two to pull it out. In fact, last fall the two of them hauled third cutting hay by themselves.

She taught her girls how to be proper wives to their husbands, and her boys how to treat their wives. And her instruction was always laced with concern for others even to the end of her life when she was more concerned about how Gary, Judy, Wayne, Debbie and Doyle were doing (all with surgeries pending at the time) than she was about herself

When Mama had pushed to the limit of a young girl's [or grandson's] frustration, she would say, 'It'll never be seen from a galloping horse.'

Mama also knew how to salvage her children's self-esteem. During a Frazier family trip to Beaver reservoir, Stina [my mom] and her kids picked chokecherries to make jelly. They were lush a plentiful, so they picked several buckets full. When Stina took them to Mama to get her help making chokecherry jelly, Mama got a funny look on her face. They had picked sarvis berries - not chokecherries! Stina was ready to throw them out, but Mama assured her they could make something out of them, tasteless though they were. And so they made sarvis berry jelly. No one knows if it was ever eaten, but Mama was more than willing to put forth the effort to preserve her little girl's dignity.

Both grandchildren and great-grandchildren have enjoyed hours spent on Grandma's lap having stories read to them... ...she loved to hike and seemed to know the name of every wildflower encountered along the way. her curiosity was contagious and gave permission to explore what was over the next hill or around the next bend...

As children we often took our mother for granted, but as adults we see in her the model of a servant's heart... ...We, and our children, have been the beneficiaries of her selflessness. She has set the bar high - incredibly high, for all of us.

We will miss her terribly until we meet again on that heavenly shore when Mama will no doubt have things to show us and to tell us about her latest adventure. Mama's life is summed up in Hebrews 12:1-2a:

'Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith...'

We love you, Mama, and we WILL finish the race well knowing nothing would please you more."

A particularly poignant moment was a hymn Grandpa requested his children sing during the service. The title was "Never Give Up" the refrain is below:

"Never give up, never give up,
Never give up to thy sorrows,
Jesus will bid them depart.
Trust in the Lord, trust in the Lord,
Sing when your trials are greatest,
Trust in the Lord and take heart."

Something I'll never forget is at the end of the hymn, Grandpa shouted, "Amen!" I am honored and incredibly grateful to be following such a godly example. I really enjoyed my time with Grandpa last week, making hay, fixing farm equipment, and just sitting listening to his stories. Thank you all for praying! Praise God for Grandpa's wonderful attitude, despite the difficult circumstances.

10 August 2009

Faith's first fish!

If you remember back to April, Faith got this fishing pole for her birthday and has been practicing diligently! She's gone fishing a few times since then, but wasn't able to catch anything.
On our short stint back at home last week, Faith and Jim went fishing on a Sunday afternoon for a special trip together. They had a wonderful time together and Faith got to finally catch her first fish!
A picture of a very excited little girl:
Proud little girl
Faith's catch of the day. She's pretty quick to tell you that "I caught TWO! But daddy only caught one."
Here's the video of her second catch. What Jim didn't get on video earlier: "Oh, I caught my first fish! Oh, I love it! Oh my first fish!" Evidently everyone else at the lake was able to hear her excitement too! Faith sure is a keeper!

video

08 August 2009

Accident update

We are saddened this morning to tell you that the other AIM missionary in the plane, mechanic Ryan Williams, went home to heaven yesterday. This has been an incredibly hard week for the AIM community in Nairobi, and especially these families. There are now two wives and eight little children mourning the loss of their husbands and fathers. Please continue to pray for these families. The update is here.

06 August 2009

AIM AIR accident

On August 1, there was an accident involving an Africa Inland Mission AIR (AIM's aviation ministry) pilot and mechanic, as well as two filmmakers not associated with AIM. The pilot tragically did not survive the crash. The AIM community is greatly saddened by this loss. We would encourage you to visit this website AIM has set up, as well as to pray for the family and community that Frank Toews left behind.

05 August 2009

A month and a half in pictures...

Summer vacation, as always, has gone by quickly. We haven't kept up on the blog too well, and here's why:

Week one:
Helping out with the farming in Paonia, Colorado, where Jim grew up.
I even gave tractor-driving a shot!
Week two:
Happy Fourth of July! Jim, as usual, was a clown in the band. I think I need to do his makeup next time!
Week three:
We drove out to Portland to visit more family. Happy birthday Jim!
Then we headed to the Oregon coast. Joel could dig in the sand ALL DAY LONG!
The view of Twin Rocks is always beautiful.
Clamming: messy AND yummy.
Faith surprised us all by keeping up with the clammers. She had a great time!
We collected mussels as well. The fruits of our labor:
Week four:
Some great cousin time!
And family time.
Tried some boogie boarding: best $14 ever spent!
Goodbye beach!
Week five:
We celebrate a milestone...
We spent a few days (ALONE!) in Frisco, Colorado. Did some biking, hiking, canoeing, picnicking, and reflecting on the past five years.
And we enjoyed cooking for each other...
Week six:
Vacation took an unexpected turn when Grandma was diagnosed with cancer. A special thing we will always remember is the time we spent with Grandpa this last week and a half. And him spending time with our kids.

02 August 2009

Update

Thanks to all who have been praying for our family during this difficult time. Grandma passed away yesterday. We are comforted that she was not in a lot of pain, remained lucid until the end, and was at peace. Grandma has left an incredible legacy... We'll all miss her, but know that she's in a much better place now. I (Jim) am grateful for her loving involvement in my childhood... all the books and crafts she always had ready for us, but most of all, there was always time to spend time with us. I'm also grateful for the example of a godly marriage that she and Grandpa lived out for the past 63 years. Thank you all again for your prayers and also for your continued prayer for my Grandpa as he adjusts to life without her.